Family Caregiver Resources
Your father has dementia, your mom falls periodically, and your neighbor struggles with grocery shopping. They all need your assistance now, in one way or another. Before you realized it, you entered a new phase of your life—caregiving.
What is a caregiver?
A caregiver is a relative or friend who provides care for an older or disabled adult. Caregiving can be as intense as providing around the clock care for a person with dementia, or as simple as regularly picking up groceries for a neighbor. Caregivers may help prepare meals, pay bills, do personal care, manage medications and assist with, or make, major life decisions.
Caregiving is important work and it can be rewarding, but it can also be stressful. You are not alone. An estimated 679,000 Minnesotans are caregiving for an older or disabled adult.
Family members and friends who provide care to an older adult often think of themselves as daughters, husbands, partners, and friends – not caregivers. Identifying as a caregiver is the first, and often most important, step a person who is playing this important role can take.
Family members and friends who understand they are caregivers will be more likely to:
Gain confidence as they gain access to education and support services
Become part of a community of caregivers, while maintaining their role as wives, sons, partners and friends
Provide quality care they while staying healthy and active themselves
To learn more about how the Senior LinkAge Line can support you in your caregiving role call (800) 333-2433!
What services are available for caregivers?
Work one-on-one with a professional who understands the needs and issues of the person you’re caring for and is focused on supporting you.
With the Consultants help, you can:
Solve caregiving problems and challenges
Find helpful resources
Set and meet goals
A caregiver consultant can help you maintain life balance, learn new skills and gain confidence and stamina for providing care.
In many communities in Minnesota, you can work with caregiver consultants who are trained to deliver Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health (REACH). This nationally proven support, education, and skills-building consultation is for family members and others caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.
Gathering spouses, children and others involved in caring for a family member may seem hard and risky. Consider using a caregiver consultant to facilitate a meeting. This expert will help you identify needs, share responsibilities, work through conflict, and develop a plan that will serve both the person you care for and all of the helpers.
Caregiver Support Groups
Support groups for caregivers can offer a variety of things, including education, community resources and emotional support and networking. Most groups meet in person, but some are held via phone conferencing or the Internet.
Education available to caregivers includes training on managing your risk factors (e.g., stress and depression) family dynamics, managing difficult behaviors and navigating health and long-term care systems. You’ll gain the knowledge needed to make decisions, solve problems and feel more confident with your caregiving role.
One caregiver education program, Powerful Tools for Caregivers, is available throughout Minnesota. This six-week program is for family caregivers and focuses on learning skills for the caregiving role, including self-care, reducing personal stress, dealing with difficult emotions, communicating in challenging situations, and mastering caregiving decisions. Download descriptions of the six weekly classes and find a program offering in your area.
Adult Respite Care
Respite for a caregiver means receiving a period of temporary substitute care, supervision, and companionship for the person you are caring for. Respite care is offered by home and community-based providers and can range from a couple hours to a short-term stay by the care receiver in a residential setting. You’ll get a mental and physical break from caregiving and the person you care for will gain a socializing opportunity.
To find these caregiver services in your area, call the Senior LinkAge Line.
Often, your caregiving journey begins with the realization that an older adult in your life needs assistance with tasks such as grocery shopping, paying bills, cooking or yard work. You may decide to take on these tasks yourself. Or, there are organizations that can help you as a caregiver to provide these services.
Services that are commonly used by caregivers:
Adult Day Care
Elder Law Attorney
Home Health Care
To find out more information about these services in your area call the
Senior LinkAge Line at (800) 333-2433!
Have a unique caregiving experience?
Caring from a distance has distinct challenges, including limited knowledge about available resources and services. Outside Minnesota, try the Eldercare Locator, a national toll-free directory assistance program provided by the U.S. Administration on Aging to help elders and their families find local services.
Call (800) 677-1116.
Caring for someone with a developmental disability is lifelong and often done by older parents or siblings. As the parent and care receiver age, the care and service needs can change. Find information by calling the Disability Hub Minnesota at (866) 333-2466 or online at MinnesotaHelp.info.
Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website page for Caregiver Support or call the Veterans LinkAge Line (888) 546-5838.
Educational information for ethnic and new immigrant caregivers and older adults can help raise awareness of caregiving, promote planning ahead and self-care, and link families with available resources.View videos and tip sheets available in Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Khmer (Cambodian), and English
To find out more information about these services call the Senior LinkAge Line at (800) 333-2433!
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