A caregiver is a family member, partner, friend, or neighbor who helps care for an older individual or a person with a disability who lives at home. Many seniors and persons with disabilities receive help from family, neighbors, or friends in performing activities of daily living or in maintaining their functioning. However, caregiving can take a toll on the caregiver without a way to have a temporary break or support from others. Respite provides the much needed temporary break from the challenges faced by an unpaid caregiver. Respite care is usually provided on a temporary basis to allow a primary caregiver, often a family member, relief from caregiving for a period of time.
Two widely used resources for caregivers are:
- Respite programs located in your community
- The National Family Caregiver Support Program
The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), established in 2000, provides grants to States and Territories, based on their share of the population aged 70 and over, to fund a range of supports that assist family and informal caregivers to care for their loved ones at home for as long as possible.
The National Family Caregiver Support Association (NFCA) has a series of Tip Sheets and How-To Guides to help family caregivers deal with the emotional and practical sides of caregiving. http://www.thefamilycaregiver.org/caregiving_resources/tips_and_tools.cfm
Local Resources for Caregivers: the Maryland Department of Aging lists caregiver support resources: http://www.mdoa.state.md.us/caregiver.html.
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