Resources for Family Caregivers
Balancing caregiving with work, childcare, and other life responsibilities can be very challenging, and it’s not unusual for caregivers to experience a decline in their mental health. Our research revealed it’s more common for those who care for an aging family member to experience symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues than the general population.
For family caregivers who struggle to maintain their mental health and balance their needs with their loved ones, it’s easy to assume you’re on your own. But it’s important to remember that mentally healthy caregivers can provide better care to their loved ones.
While many more resources are needed to support the growing needs of caregivers fully, here are a few starting places for those who are looking for more help now:
A service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, the Eldercare Locator lets you type in your ZIP code or city and state and find dozens of organizations that provide support for older Americans and their caregivers, such as their local Area Agency on Aging.
Caregiver Action Network
A nonprofit grassroots organization, Caregiver Action Network offers online support tools, chat, and news about family caregiving.
In some cases, family caregivers may be able to get financial support from Medicare/Medicaid via self-directed services. Eligibility depends on the state, and enrollment may be a challenge. But for families that can participate, the cost savings could be significant. Those with Medicare Advantage plans are also eligible for additional caregiver benefits.
VA Family Caregiver Assistance
For family caregivers of U.S. military veterans, many benefits are available. For those who qualify, caregivers can receive education and training, mental health counseling, and financial assistance when traveling with the veteran to receive care. Monthly stipends and respite care are also available.
Caregiver Support Groups
Whether online or in-person, support groups can provide caregivers with a community of others who understand their needs and concerns. Groups are typically free to join and run in various formats. Some groups are oriented around conditions like Alzheimer’s or geared toward younger caregivers.