Resources For Family Caregivers

Local and National Resources for Family Caregivers

We are well aware of the struggles that family caregivers face every day. Although there are many benefits of caregiving, there are still days when a little extra support wouldn’t hurt. For this reason, we collected a list of local and national resources for family caregivers.

In Massachusetts, a state with about 6.7 million residents, nearly 844,000 reported themselves as an informal caregiver.  And according to the Massachusetts eHealth Institute, an estimated 1 in 8 Americans provide informal or unpaid caregiving services for older adults over 50. 

Of course, unpaid caregivers come from every age and generation. Together, they form the “sandwich generation,” where individuals care for their children as well as their aging parents. 

As a member of the sandwich generation, you might feel overwhelmed or even alone in your responsibilities. However, we hope that these resources will ease some of the burdens associated with your role.

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Resources and Support For Caregivers In Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Caregiver Coalition

The Massachusetts Caregiver Coalition (MCC) is an initiative created by the Massachusetts Business Roundtable (MBR) comprised of business, health care, education, and government leaders from across the state.

MCC aims to understand, acknowledge, and meet the needs of family caregivers. When the MBR launched MCC, it published the Massachusetts Caregiver Survey and Employer Toolkit, which addresses the challenges of working caregivers.

The Employer Toolkit aims to encourage more businesses to support members of their workforce who also care for a loved one. It includes actionable steps, short questionnaires for workers, state programs, and case studies. 

These surveys helped produce the 2019 Massachusetts State of Care Survey, which surveyed 420 unpaid family caregivers and found:

  • 68% routinely have sleep problems
  • 58% reported a decline in their physical health as a result of their duties
  • 27% between 26 and 34 feel that their responsibilities have impacted their career
  • 84% said they would appreciate additional help and support from another relative, neighbor, or friend 

With this information, MCC can develop more programs and resources to better support the state’s informal caregivers. To learn more about MCC or to join, visit the Massachusetts Business Roundtable website.

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Family Caregivers Support Program

The Family Caregivers Support Program (FCSP) from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) is a comprehensive database that offers many resources for family caregivers, such as:

  • Qualification criteria for the FCSP
  • Information for employers to support family caregivers
  • Help for individuals caring for loved ones with dementia
  • Training programs
  • Contact information to speak with specialists who can provide more details about various programs

Torchlight

If your employer does not currently have a program in place to support family caregivers, you may consider speaking to your supervisor or HR about Torchlight. 

Torchlight is an employer-focused program that focuses on the challenges of employee caregivers and finding ways to reduce the influence these responsibilities can have in the workplace. 

Data from Torchlight’s 2018 report offers concrete evidence proving that having a program for family caregivers in the workplace benefits everyone. By supporting family caregivers in their careers, employers also support their businesses’ growth.

National Resources For Family Caregivers

Family Caregivers in the Military

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

The VA offers many services to qualifying service members and veterans, including health care and benefits. If you are a veteran, you may be eligible for the agency’s Caregiver Support Program, which provides support groups, mentoring, training, and a helpline. Call 855-260-3274 for more information.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation

Elizabeth Dole Foundation strives to improve resources for family caregivers who assist sick or injured loved ones who previously served. It also runs Hidden Heroes, an online platform where military caregivers can find connect and find support. Call 202-249-7170 to learn more.

Military and Veteran Caregiver Network

In partnership with the American Red Cross, the Military and Veteran Caregiver Network connects people caring for veterans and service members with local and online support and mentoring programs.

Military One Source

Funded by the Department of Defense, Military One Source offers caregiving consulting services for active-duty members of the National Guard and Reserves, as well as their loved ones. Call 800-342-9647 to learn more about this program.

Respite Care

ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center

Whether you need a respite care break for the afternoon, a week, or a month, ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center’s National Respite Locator can help. It includes a comprehensive list of programs, services, and resources for family caregivers in every state.

National Adult Day Services Association

The National Adult Day Services Association is a reputable agency that has helped thousands of families. You can find tools such as the local adult day care service locator and resources from the organization’s members to help you select the right facility for your loved one’s needs.

Senior Corps

Senior Corps is an organization comprised of older adults who volunteer for various programs in their community. The Senior Companions program lets your loved keep their independence and dignity by pairing them with an older volunteer who can assist with day-to-day tasks. You can contact the organization at 800-942-2677

Long-Term Care

VA: Geriatrics and Extended Care

Geriatrics and Extended Care is a VA program where you can find a list of services for long-term care. 

LongTermCare.gov

LongTermCare.gov is a federal program through the Administration for Community Living. Here, you can find an extensive database of tools, support, and resources for family caregivers and elders in need of long-term care.

Legal and Financial Resources

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Medicaid 

Health expenses are among the biggest concerns for elders and caregivers, but Medicaid may ease the burden. Qualifying individuals can receive coverage for a variety of needs, including long-term and in-home care. 

Regulations vary depending on your state, so connect with your state’s agency for more information or call 877-267-2323.

Medicare

Older adults 65 and above may be eligible for specialized nursing and in-home care through Medicare. Visit Medicare.com to learn more, or call 800-MEDICARE.

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is a nonprofit coalition comprised of individuals and organizations offering services for seniors and those with special needs. Visit Naela.org to find local attorneys who can guide your family with the various legal nuances that come with aging.

State Health Insurance Assistance Program

If you or your loved one enrolled in Medicare, this program provides insurance counseling and support to caregivers and their loved ones. Visit ShipCenter.org to learn more about your state’s Health Insurance Assistance Program. 

Resources for Those Caring For A Loved One With Cancer

American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society provides several resources for family caregivers and their loved ones like the downloadable Caregiver Resource Guide and other helpful information.

National Cancer Institute

This organization offers a range of educational materials to assist those caring for a loved one with cancer, plus guides to promote self-care. Call 800-4-Cancer or check out Cancer.gov to find additional information.

Cancer Support Community

The Cancer Support Community operates MyLifeLine, an online platform where caregivers can find many support groups and agencies worldwide. To learn more about this organization, call 888-793-9355.

Resources For Those Caring for a Loved One with Cognitive Decline

Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association offers a 24/7 helpline where you can receive information and resources to assist in caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Call 800-272-3900 or visit Alz.org for more details.

Alzheimers.gov

Alzheimers.gov is a federal program where you can find resources for caregivers and the elders they care for who require specialized care due to cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Call 800-438-4380 for more info. 

Memory Café Directory

You can find over 700 memory cafés located across the US through the Memory Café Directory. Memory cafés offer elders with cognitive decline a chance to connect with others and allow caregivers to find support with those facing similar circumstances. 

Miscellaneous Support and Resources for Family Caregivers

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Meetcaregivers

Meetcaregivers is dedicated to helping caregivers and their families. We can match your loved one to the perfect qualified caregiver. Whether they need a little assistance with ADLs or specialized nursing care, we can help. 

Call us at 1-888-541-1136, or contact us online. Then visit the Blog to find more resources for family caregivers and seniors.


Sources
  • AARP. “Resources and Support for Family Caregivers.” AARP, AARP, 28 Oct. 2019,https://tinyurl.com/y4btwkkk.
  • “Supporting Family Caregivers.” MeHI, Massachusetts EHealth Institute,https://tinyurl.com/y3z5477s.

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