November is National Caregivers Month
Free Consultation Helps Families Navigate Services to
Help Chronically Ill or Elderly Relatives
SAN FRANCISCO—11/01/02—Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) offers free consultations with licensed professionals to Bay Area families caring for loved ones with long-term, debilitating illnesses. The consultations, as well as other support services, are funded through the California Department of Mental Health and local Area Agencies on Aging. Services include:
- Care Planning. Caregivers and their families can explore current and future care options for a loved one, learn about community resources, and get assistance in coping with the stresses of caregiving.
FCA staff may also arrange meetings with an attorney experienced in estate and financial matters, conservatorships and other legal concerns of importance in long-term care.
- Education. FCA conducts workshops and classes for caregivers throughout the Bay Area on diverse caregiving topics, ranging from stress management and long-term care planning to practical, hands-on caregiving skills.
- Publications. FCA offers nearly 60 Fact Sheets and other publications on topics including diseases and disorders, care planning and legal advice for caregivers. Many of these Fact Sheets are also available in Spanish and Chinese.
- Support. In FCA's ongoing in-person and online support groups, caregivers can share ideas, resources and concerns with others facing similar challenges.
- Respite. Weekend Caregiver Retreats and camps for those with Alzheimer's disease and other health conditions take place in the Bay Area four to five times each year, offering caregivers a much-needed break.
FCA also provides financial assistance for adult day care services, short-term or weekend care, or transportation. Grants of up to $800 dollars (up to $1000 in Contra Costa County) may be available to caregivers to pay for temporary care in a residential or skilled nursing home facility, or for in-home respite care with a home health aide or attendant. Eligibility for this service varies according to funding source and county.
Celebrating a quarter century of groundbreaking work on behalf of caregivers, FCA was the first organization of its kind to recognize the needs of-and provide services for-families providing care for loved ones with Alzheimer's disease, stroke, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury and other chronic health conditions.
"We are honored to be able to provide Bay Area families the help they need to care for a friend or relative who is no longer able to live independently," said Kathy Kelly, FCA's Executive Director. "Caregivers play an invaluable role in long-term care in the United States, but the system of support services available to them can be complex and confusing to navigate. The guidance of a knowledgeable, caring professional can make an enormous difference. During National Caregivers Month, FCA celebrates the courage and commitment of caregivers, and is delighted to have been able to assist them for the past 25 years."
FCA serves as the Bay Area Caregiver Resource Center (CRC), and is the lead agency in California's statewide system of CRCs as well as a center for care information and support nationwide. For more information, call (800) 445-8106, visit www.caregiver.org, or send an email to [email protected]
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