Did you know that there are over 53 million family caregivers in the U.S.?
Family caregivers provide long-term, generally unpaid care to people with chronic illnesses and disabilities. They help manage household tasks such as shopping and bill paying and provide companionship and emotional support. Caregivers help their family members maintain their independence, avoid living in a group setting and reduce depression symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the need for caregivers is growing as the United States population is aging. It is estimated that about 73 million Americans will be over 65 by 2030, and many will need assistance from a caregiver at some point in their lives.
Although caregiving can be rewarding, it is often tiring and overwhelming. Many caregivers neglect their own health and needs to care for their loved one. Caregiving frequently has financial consequences as individuals quit their jobs, reduce hours or use savings to look after family members.
The good news is that many reputable organizations are dedicated to supporting family caregivers. Here are five organizations that provide valuable resources:
1. Family Caregiver Alliance
The Family Caregiver Alliance aims to improve the quality of life for family caregivers and those who receive their care. For over 40 years, the Alliance has provided assessment, care planning, direct care skills, wellness programs and legal and financial consultation vouchers. It also operates the FCA CareNav digital service platform.
The Family Caregiver Alliance sponsors several support groups online and in-person in the San Francisco Bay area. Their online support groups include:
Caregiver Online Support Group
An unmoderated group for families, partners and other caregivers who want a safe place to discuss the challenges and rewards of providing care for adults with Alzheimer’s, stroke, brain injury and other chronic debilitating health conditions.
LGBTQ+ Community Support
A support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender caregivers of adults with chronic health problems to discuss the unique issues of caring for their loved ones.
2. WISER Financial Caregiving Hub
The Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) is a nonprofit organization focusing solely on women’s unique financial challenges. WISER supports women’s opportunities to secure adequate retirement income through research, programs and partnerships.
WISER’s Family Caregiving hub provides helpful resources to women caring for a spouse, parent, child or friend. The hub allows visitors to submit a question to experts, access videos and guides and get contact information for support groups.
- Family financial planning
- Legal and financial documents
- Leaving your job or working part-time
- Saving for your retirement
- Advance care planning
- Elder financial fraud and abuse
- Major federal and state benefit programs
3. ALS Association Resources
The ALS Association’s mission is to discover treatments and a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and to serve, advocate for and empower those affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest. The ALS Association’s Resources page provides fact sheets, guides, videos, manuals and more to the families and caregivers of those impacted by ALS.
- FYI: How to know when to hire in-home help
- Caregiving – When a loved one has ALS
- FYI: Choose a home health care agency
- FYI: Home adaptations
4. SAGE National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging
While all caregivers can benefit from support and resources, LGBTQ+ caregivers have unique experiences and needs. According to SAGE, LGBT caregivers make up about 9% of the 34.2 million Americans caring for adults over 50. They become caregivers at a higher rate than non-LGBT peers and tend to provide care in different relationship structures, such as caring for a found family member.
To meet the needs of LGBTQ+ caregivers, the SAGE National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging provides a wide range of downloadable resources.
- Advocating for yourself and others: Health and aging services
- LGBT and dementia
- 10 Tips for finding LGBT affirming services
- Maintaining dignity: Understanding & responding to the needs of older LGBT Americans
5. National Institute on Aging Caregiving Resources
Last but not least, the National Institute on Aging, one of the National Institutes of Health, provides a caregiving hub that provides helpful articles aimed at helping individuals care for a friend or family member.
Some topics include:
- Advance care planning
- Long-distance caregiving
- Doctor’s appointments
- Taking care of yourself
Being a caregiver to a friend or family member is a labor of love and having support can make all the difference. Maxim provides respite services to family caregivers who need a period of rest to recharge and show up for their family members in a healthy way. These services are only available in some locations, so reach out to your local Maxim office for more information.
*Maxim Healthcare Services is not affiliated with these services, and information gained from them should not replace professional medical advice.*