Getting outside help does not necessarily mean hiring services through a home care agency or private in-home caregiver. You can learn more about Home Care Services on this site. There are other options as well. Who can help?
The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP)
Established in 2000, this program provides grants to states and territories, based on their share of the population aged 70 and over to fund a range of support that assists family and informal caregivers to care for their loved ones at home for as long as possible. The care recipient must be 60 years of age or older. Services include:
Information to care partners about available services
Assistance to care partners in gaining access to the services
Individual counseling, organization or support groups and care partner training
Supplemental services, on a limited basis
To access this program as well as other state-based programs, contact your local Area Agency on Aging in Alabama (AAA). Your local AAA can also provide information on adult care programs, case management, home modification, home health services and much more. They will let you know whether services are free or available on a sliding fee scale.
Eldercare Locator Service www.eldercare.gov 1.800.677.1116
Veterans Administration Caregiver Services 1.855.260.3274 (8am - 8pm Eastern Time, Monday - Friday)
Contact the VA to learn what assistance might be available for veterans and their spouses or widow(er)s. The call center is staffed by licensed social workers who can explain available services, give you contact information for accessing those services and provide emotional support. Most of the services are income - or asset-based, and it may take from six months to a year for approval. Payment is retroactive to date or filing.
The National Volunteer Caregiving Network (formerly Faith in Action) exists to share knowledge, experiences, and ideas that help strengthen and support hundreds of local volunteer caregiving programs throughout the U.S. and to foster the establishment of new interfaith volunteer caregiving programs. Their website (www.nvcnetwork.org) allows you to search by state to see what volunteer caregiving programs are available near you. If you do not have internet access, call their national office for help finding the nearest program: 512.582.2197. Individual programs will explain what services are offered and the limitations of those services.
You should also check if your town has a volunteer agency; the agency will do background checks and training before assigning volunteers. Many college and even high school students participate in community service organizations. Faith-based youth groups, young professionals, and retired people also like to volunteer in the community. Depending on their level of comfort and your own, these volunteers might be able to help with a variety of tasks, from grocery shopping to light housekeeping to basic caregiving.
In-Home Care Providers
Home healthcare agencies may be affiliated with hospitals and focus on the medical aspects of care. Services from these agencies are generally limited by insurance or Medicare to a certain number of visits and require a prescription or referral from a medical practitioner. See Home Health Care.
care agencies provide non-medical services including personal care, housekeeping, companionship, and supervision. Their services may be short or long-term. Unless you have a long-term care insurance policy that covers in-home care or certain VA benefits, the cost of these services will be out-of-pocket to you. You can find a listing of Home Care Agencies here.
Parkinson's Foundation. Page 88. Where to Find Help. Chapter 5. Getting Outside Help. Caring and Coping. A Care Partner's Guide to Parkinson's Disease. "Booklet."