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Support Resources for Caregivers

Mar 27, 2020

 

If you’re caring for an older adult and you’ve had to change your routine in the last few weeks with senior centers, doctors' offices, and adult day programs closing due to COVID-19, you might find yourself experiencing more caregiver stress and burnout.

 

Last week, I met with a caregiver who was teleworking from home and whose husband with dementia was unexpectedly home at the same time. Before the Coronavirus Pandemic, his home health aide would come to his home 3 days a week and he would attend an adult day program 5 days a week. These resources would help his wife (the caregiver) to continue to work and have a break from caregiving, so that she wouldn't have to give up her whole life in exchange for caregiving. But, since the Coronavirus Pandemic has started, his adult day program has closed, and his home health aide has been sick. As a result, the caregiver is experiencing lots of stress and overwhelm trying to figure out how to work and caregive full-time. She's exhausted.

 

This caregiver and I have worked together for a couple of years so we were able to hit the ground running to address her challenges and brainstorm how she might create a new routine for her husband during the pandemic. 

 

This experience had me thinking that it is essential for caregivers to get support.

 

Unfortunately, many caregivers just don't know where to find support. So, I put together a little list of caregiver support resources just for you.

 

1. CaregiverAction.org

Caregiver Action.org has a free caregiver hotline. They also have lots of resources related to caregiving during COVID-19.

Call 855-227-3640, or chat here: https://caregiveraction.org/

 

2. The Family Caregiver Alliance

The Family Caregiver Alliance also has resources and support programs for caregivers and offer a hotline during business hours (Pacific Standard Time) at 800-445-8106. Learn more about them, here.

 

3. Alzheimer's Association

If you’re caring for someone with dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association has a 24/7 helpline at 800.272.3900. Learn more here!

Psst: your loved one doesn't have to have Alzheimer's Disease, they can have any type of dementia for you to receive support there!

 

4. Talk therapy

Sometimes therapy can be very helpful in times like these. If you’re interested in therapy, here are some ways to find a therapist. You might consider asking if they have a tele-health option during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

  1. If you have insurance, call or go online to see if your insurance covers “Behavioral Health” or “Mental Health”, then look for providers in your network. You can google them to read about them and see if they’re a good fit for you. 
  2. Psychology Today is a great resource hub for finding therapists (including Psychologists), who do talk therapy, and Psychiatrists, who prescribe medications. Link to find a provider.
  3. Online therapy apps might be helpful as well - Check out the three options I shared above.

 

5. Therapy Apps

Therapy apps are en vogue and may be very helpful in times like this. They can also be super helpful as a caregiver, if you aren't able to leave your home very often due to the caregiving or supervision needs of your loved one. They are essentially online or telephone therapy options that tend to be available 24/7. Here are three online therapy apps to consider. (Please note that I have no affiliation with any of these apps.)

 

In wrapping up, I hope you hear the message loud and clear that you don't have to do this caregiving-thing alone. There are lots of free resources and hotlines available to support you! So, don't be shy. Call them when you need a little TLC!

 


Looking  for more tips on maintaining your wellness during COVID-19?

Download my FREE COVID-19 WELLNESS GUIDE for Older Adults!

 


 

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I'm Dr. Regina Koepp!

I'm a Stanford trained, Board Certified Clinical Psychologist specializing with older adults and families! I'm an Assistant Professor at Emory University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, and a staff Psychologist working with older adults and families at the Atlanta VA Health Care System. I'm a mom of two little kids and a daughter to aging parents.

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