When family caregivers are well supported receivers of their care are able to stay in their homes longer and can have a better quality of life. Family caregivers provide needed assistance to help their loved one stay in their home from doing chores like shopping, housekeeping, cooking to providing personal care. However, caregivers face many challenges and issues of their own including, physical and emotional stress, less time for their personal and family life, balancing work and caregiving responsibilities as well as financial hardship.
Whether as an informal caregiver, providing support to a family member from a long distance or in the home, or providing care professionally, all caregivers share common experiences. They are the foundation of the nation’s long term care system by providing the majority of long-term care services and supports received by persons with disabilities of all ages, which significantly reduce costs to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance.
The federal Older American’s Act, Title III, Part E - Family Caregiving Support Programs provides limited funding for family caregiving support programs. This program provides funding to support caregivers or other individuals who are “informal” providers to an older individual. If a care receiver has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, support can be provided regardless of their age. In addition this program supports relatives (not a parent) age 55 or older when they are caring for a child 18 years old or younger or caring for an adult child (18 years or older) that has a disability and is financially dependent on them.
Program Standards provide information on the Family Caregiver Support Program including a description of the program, federal requirements and reporting, services and unit descriptions. Program Standards – June 2012
Family Caregiver Handbook