Acting as a family caregiver is one of the most challenging jobs around. Covering day-to-day responsibilities can be overwhelming, even for seasoned professionals. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for caregivers to face burnout, mental breakdowns, or even chronic health issues.
Many caregivers don’t realize that resources are available to help them. There are options for every situation, from government programs to local support groups.
Getting to the right person or program can be tricky, as many resources aren’t user-friendly. That’s where the AARP & United Way’s 211 Caregiver Outreach Program can help to fill the gap.
Assistance Provided Through the Caregiver Outreach Program
The Caregiver Outreach Program is a pilot collaboration between AARP, the United Way, and 211.
From finding help with basic needs to placement in an outside care facility, this program aims to help caregivers to fully understand their options. By simply dialing 2-1-1, caregivers can instantly connect with a local expert who can explain available resources and programs for free.
One of the program’s primary services is helping caregivers identify resources that may be available to them.
Basic resources may include:
- Job placement assistance
- Rent assistance
- Utility assistance
- Caregiver compensation
- Health care
Local experts can field requests and help caregivers connect with various groups and agencies that can provide assistance.
Support Groups and Counseling
One of the most difficult challenges to overcome as a caregiver is often loneliness. Sometimes, you may feel that no one can relate to your daily life. Feelings of isolation can negatively impact your work and well-being over time.
Support groups for caregivers can be incredibly effective in giving you an outlet to vent frustrations, share tips, or simply connect with others who can relate to your experience.
Similarly, counseling is an important part of self-care for some caregivers, who can benefit from a listening ear and practical advice.
The Caregiver Outreach Program can help caregivers to find local support groups and counselors to help them on their journeys.
When caregivers can no longer provide the level of care needed, placing their loved one in a community or hiring in-home care is usually the best option. Caregivers often struggle with this decision, but in some situations, it is the best way to ensure that a loved one gets the care they deserve.
The Caregiver Outreach Program helps caregivers identify options for a variety of communities and caregiving services, including:
- Assisted living facilities
- Rehabilitation programs
- Hospice care
- Nursing homes
- Respite care
- Memory care
The program is helpful when you need to identify which type of community is appropriate.
For example, a loved one who is facing significant recovery time after an injury or surgical procedure may be well-suited to a rehabilitation program, while a senior who has difficulty remembering to care for themselves may need more support in a memory care setting.
Using the Caregiver Outreach program, you can connect with local representatives who can explain the benefits and expenses of various options.
There are millions of veterans in the U.S., many of whom need specialized caregiving services. Many resources are available to veterans and their families, but navigating various programs and government agencies can be a real challenge.
The Caregiver Outreach Program can help families identify services, request aid in applying for veterans benefits, and more. A dedicated staff member can help to cut through red tape in the process, saving caregivers time and stress.
Dedicated Support for Caregivers
Along with these services, the Caregiver Outreach Program provides a judgment-free safe space for caregivers.
Experience the Caregiver Outreach Program Now
The pilot program started in seven markets and now serves almost 25% of the U.S. population. It is currently available in:
- Central Michigan
- Broward County
- Palm Beach
- South Dakota
- North Carolina
- Western New York
The AARP, United Way, and 211 are working hard to grow and hope to expand the program from a pilot to a nationwide resource for caregivers.
The program is completely free to use. Currently, more than 220 local organizations are participating across the country. In the past year alone, experts helped to answer more than 20 million requests for help.
If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, tell them to dial 2-1-1 or visit 211.org for more information. You can also learn more through the Federal Communications Commission’s website and the AARP’s resource guide for caregivers.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.