November is National Family Caregiver MonthWhile virtual holiday gatherings will be the norm this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health officials want families, and family caregivers, to know that many resources are available to help if you notice changes in a family member’s health, self-care routine, memory or overall behavior this holiday season, even if you don’t live close to your loved one.
“We know that 2020 has presented new challenges for family caregivers, who already are under enormous stress,” said Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “We want caregivers to know that there are many resources available to help them take care of themselves as they take care of their loved one.”
Health officials suggest that a good first step is to call your local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRCContact). Staff know the resources available in the community, and can connect families to services that can keep older adults living at home safely. Most ADRCs also have dementia care specialists on staff who can answer questions in confidence if a person suspects that a relative or friend may be experiencing cognitive decline.
The National Family Caregiver Support Program and Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Family Caregiver Support Program can help with caregiver support services that are available at no cost or low cost to most people caring for a Wisconsin resident age 60 or over. Services include:
Whether you’re a caregiver for older adults or individuals with intellectual or physical disabilities, or a grandparent or other relative caring for children, it’s critical to stay connected with other caregivers. With many events cancelled or postponed this year, the Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance offers a list of Virtual Events For Caregivers(link is external) taking place around the state, including virtual caregiver cafes that provide emotional support, online classes and conferences, live events, and a chance to talk with other caregivers. Most of the events are free or have a minimal registration fee, which is often covered by a program through the ADRC.
Additional information on programs and resources for family caregivers(link is external) is also available.