4 Resources for Family Caregivers

Author: Tara Fleming Caruso, MA, LMHC

Taking care of a family member with Alzheimer’s disease and/or a related dementia can be as exhausting as it is meaningful. Both physically and emotionally, caregiving takes a toll that we can all appreciate. Occasional breaks – whether for a few hours, a day, or a week or more – are important in order to recharge. Family caregivers need rest and support in order to continue to provide the best possible care to loved ones.

There are many supports available for family caregivers:

  • Support Groups – Caring for a loved one with dementia is not something for which many people have prepared. Sharing resources with others in the same situation not only enhances one’s ability to provide care but also decreases the social isolation that can come with family caregiving. Public support groups are offered at many assisted living communities and senior centers. Call your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association to learn about groups in your area.
  • Home Care – Even if you have the ability to care for your loved one full-time, setting up a routine of regular visits by a professional caregiver or companion will allow you to rely on some predictable rest periods as well as time to take care of life’s other responsibilities. 
  • Day Programs – Similarly, establishing periodic participation for a loved one in a day program provides some scheduled respite from caregiving. Day programs also provide more cognitive stimulation, structured programming and socialization than a single family caregiver can provide.
  • Residential Respite Care – These short terms stays in a Memory Care Assisted Living community allow caregivers to travel or experience a “staycation.” Find out which memory care assisted living communities in your area offer respite care, what the rates are and whether a minimum stay is required. In addition to touring in advance, there will be a medical assessment required to ensure the residential community can meet all of the respite residents’ unique needs. 

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Tara Fleming-Caruso, MA, LMHC

About Tara Fleming Caruso, MA, LMHC

Collaborative Care Advisor at NewBridge on the Charles

Tara serves as the collaborative care advisor for the NewBridge campus, making her an important resource for each of our residents and their families. Tara helps each senior moving to NewBridge both understand and access the variety of supports our...

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