Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Free Consultation Available For Family Caregivers

Irene, who works for the City's Aging and Disability Services, wants to let the community know that free consultations are available for family caregivers.

"Many people help their parents, and sometimes friends or neighbors, with tasks on a regular basis, but they don’t think of themselves as caregivers. If they fix meals, run errands, support personal care, or schedule medical appointments, they may be caregivers. And they may be very stressed out about it! Fortunately, help is available, and most services are free or low cost," Irene tells us in her email.

She writes:
The Family Caregiver Support Program helps unpaid caregivers of adults age 18 and older who care for an older adult or an adult with a disability. By helping to reduce family caregiver stress, the program enables the person receiving the care to remain at home and independent.

In King County, approximately 210,000 adults (14.5% of the adult population) spend at least some time caring for a loved one, and more than half provide care to someone age 65 or older. The Family Caregiver Support Program tailors support services to the unique needs of unpaid family caregivers.

Services may include referrals to local support groups, counseling, training, advice on how to use supplies and equipment, and even respite care. Consultations are free. Respite is available on a sliding-fee scale. When a caregiver contacts the program, a caregiver specialist conducts an interview to better understand the caregiver’s current situation, sources of stress, and stress level. The interview can be completed by phone. Alternatively, you can download and print a survey formand contact a caregiver specialist to discuss next steps.

The Family Caregiver Support Program is administered locally, and specialists know what resources are available in Seattle and King County.

Contact the Family Caregiver Support Program via Senior Information & Assistance at 206-448-3110 or 1-888-4ELDERS or info@seniorservices.org.

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