Family Caregiver’s Resources: Get Caregiving Help and Support

Every caregiver’s situation is different. Whether you’re helping your aging parents, disabled and sick loved ones from a distance or providing hands-on care, there are many tools and resources that can help you.

It’s important to know where to get health information and help for your specific caregiving issues.

“Thank you for the awesome resources you’ve shared here! I’m very grateful for your work to inform and support our seniors. I’m putting together material for our local workshops for elderly and their caretakers, and I feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit by way of your page.”  ~Sarah B.

Family Caregiver’s Resources: Get Caregiving Help and Support

Providing care for your aging parents and other loved ones dealing with health issues can be very challenging. Use caregiver’s resources to get the help and support you need.

Get Help from Home Health Care Professionals — Learn the Easiest and Fastest Way to Get Resources

The simplest way to get help for your loved ones is to partner with local home health care professionals. They can refer you to useful resources that are available in your area; they can visit your family at home to discuss appropriateness and qualification for resources as well as provide additional services.

To get started, you need a doctor’s order to initiate home health care services; this service is usually covered up to 100% by their health insurance. Why? Instead of waiting until patients are dealing with disastrous health problems, it is cheaper for Medicare, Medicaid/MediCal and other insurance companies to prevent problems from getting out of control.

Your loved ones need to have some issues affecting their health to get a doctor’s order for home visits by health care professionals, such as:

  • Multiple falls which can be due to safety issues at home
  • Flu, pneumonia and other infections can be life-threatening for the elderly
  • Swallowing problems can lead to choking or aspiration pneumonia
  • Increased weakness or unsteady gait can lead to safety issues
  • Increased confusion or memory problems can lead to safety issues
  • Pressure ulcer or any wound
  • Broken bones, sprains and strains
  • Problems taking medications or new medications with side-effects
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Uncontrolled, severe or new pain
  • Mental health issues
  • Breathing problems
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Stroke or heart attack
  • Rash and other skin conditions that are getting worse
  • Any other health changes or issues

A registered nurse will visit and assess your loved one’s health; (s)he will make some recommendations about services that need to be provided, such as, a physical therapist, occupational therapist, social worker, dietitian, home health aide and/or a speech therapist (for memory and cognitive issues).

A case manager will be assigned to manage and coordinate the services of the team of health professionals.

Professional case managers (also called care managers) can provide hands-on management of services for your loved one. They usually have a background in nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy or a related healthcare field. They are trained to assess your loved one’s situation and to implement a care plan to meet his/her needs. They usually work with your family and your loved one’s physician.

Instead of guessing what your loved ones will need to be safe at home, the team of health professionals will evaluate their situation and give their specific recommendations to improve their safety. They will teach your loved ones and provide training for your caregiving team as needed.

If there are financial issues that can get in the way of getting equipment or home modifications to improve safety, the social worker can help you connect with community resources that can provide some financial help.

If any of your loved ones end up in the hospital, make sure that you ask his/her Case Manager and Social Worker there to set up health home care services before (s)he gets discharged from the hospital. If appropriate, hospice services (at home or in a facility) may also be discussed with your family.

Having Trouble Getting Your Loved Ones to Their Doctors and Other Health Care Providers? You Can Get Doctors That Make House Calls

If you’re caring for someone who has difficulty walking or other mobility issues, you can search for physicians and other health care providers that make house calls in your area; click HERE and enter your zip code.

The physicians and their team can do routine physical examination, get blood specimen for laboratory tests, give flu shots and other follow-up visits for non-emergency health issues. Most physicians and other health care providers that make house calls will work with your loved one’s other doctors.

If you have the means, you can also hire concierge physicians who can provide customized private medical care for your loved ones (some will make house calls); to find concierge doctors near you, click HERE and enter your zip code.

If your loved ones are not dealing with any new health or safety issues, you will have to do the research to find resources that can help your family.

Check out the resources below…

 

You can browse the categories shown below to find the sites that offer the tools and resources you need.

NOTE: Most of the resources for caregivers are for individuals and families in the United States. If you live in another country, please search Google.com for the corresponding resources in your province, state or country.

Aging and Eldercare Resources

2-1-1 — Find local resources using this free and confidential service for people across North America.

Administration on Community Living (ACL) — This federal agency is responsible for advancing the concerns and interests of older people. Offers a variety of tools and information for older adults and family caregivers.

BenefitsCheckUp  — Run by the National Council on Aging. Offers search tool for finding federal, state and local benefits as well as programs and discounts for older adults that can help them pay for medical care, utilities, food and other basic needs. You need to answer a few quick questions to start.

Eldercare Locator — The Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, can help you find resources for older adults in any U.S. community. Find services offered by state and local area agencies on aging as well as community-based organizations that serve older adults and their caregivers.

Eldercare Locator:  Search by Zip Codes — Find Agencies on Aging near you using your zip code locations. Family caregivers can also find information about many eldercare issues and services available in local communities.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — Find services and support near you or search by zip code. Find a dentist, doctor or other health care provider. Find community health center, home health care, hospice care, hospitals, long term care, nursing homes and other health care facilities.

Offers over 6,000 government and nonprofit health information resources as well as personalized health tools, such as, health calculators, activity and menu planners, recipes and online checkups. Information is provided in English and Spanish.

Medicare Search and Comparison Tools for Care Providers — Find and compare doctors, hospitals, health and drug plans, suppliers, facilities & other providers. Find out about the services they offer. Make side-by-side comparisons on the care they provide and more. Get helpful tips on choosing providers and plans.

National Alliance for Hispanic Health: Su Familia — Call 1-866-Su Familia (866-783-2645). The National Hispanic Family Health Helpline provides free reliable and confidential health information in Spanish and English to help callers navigate the health system. Bilingual health promotion advisors provide basic information on a wide range of health topics. Up-to-date database includes over 13,000 providers which enables health promotion advisors to refer callers to health care services in their community.

Easter Seals — Offers a variety of services at 400 sites nationwide for children and adults with disabilities, including adult day care, in-home care, camps for special needs children and more. Services vary by site.​

National Institute On Aging: Health Topics A-Z — Browse Health Topics A-Z to find information about different diseases and health issues.

Adult Day Care Centers

Adult day care services can provide a break for caregivers and can offer participants a chance to socialize as well as get health and social services. Participants may get nutritious meals, transportation, care management, recreation and exercise, nursing care, education, medications, help with activities of daily living as well as occupational, speech and physical therapies.

National Adult Day Services Association — Get help finding adult day care centers in your area.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services

Addiction Resource — Volunteer-run organization is dedicated to helping people through every step of the addiction treatment and recovery process. They connect people dealing with addiction with the help they need to put their lives back on track.

Drug Rehab: Seniors and Addiction — This web resource is provided and funded by Advanced Recovery Systems. Their mission is to equip people and their families with the best information, resources and tools to overcome addiction and lead a lifelong recovery.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Services

Alzheimer’s Association — The Alzheimer’s Association offers care and support for people affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Offers comprehensive online resources and information through the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center as well as a professionally staffed 24/7 Helpline (1-800-272-3900), face-to-face support groups and educational sessions in communities nationwide.

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America — Offers a national, toll-free helpline (866-232-8484) staffed by licensed social workers as well as educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and “AFA Partners in Care” dementia care training for healthcare professionals.

The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) — Promotes and funds research into finding the cause, therapies and cures for frontotemporal (FTD) degeneration. Offer information, education and support to people diagnosed with an FTD disorder as well as for their families and caregivers.

The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) — Raises awareness of Lewy body dementias (LBD) and promotes scientific advances. Offers support to people with LBD as well as their families and caregivers.

Alzheimers.gov — Federal Government portal to information, research, support and other resources for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Dementia Care (including Alzheimer’s) — Care for Veterans with Alzheimer’s or dementia is provided through VA health care services. Services may include home based primary care, homemaker and home health aide, respite care, adult day health care, outpatient clinic, inpatient hospital, nursing home, palliative care or hospice care depending on Veteran’s needs. Offers caregiver support also.

Cancer Support and Resources

National Cancer Institute — Support for caregivers helping a family member or friend through cancer treatment, activities of daily living, health care needs at home, coordinating services and care as well as giving emotional and spiritual support.

American Cancer Society — Offers basic information about cancer and its causes as well as in-depth information on specific cancer types, including risk factors, early detection, diagnosis and treatment options. You can also call 800-227-2345.

Cancer Experience Registry — Online community allows people facing cancer to share their experiences, identify issues that impact their lives, take surveys, access resources and learn from each other. It is free, confidential and open to anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer or provides care to a cancer patient.

Cancer Support Community Helpline: 1-888-793-9355 — Provides emotional and educational services for all people affected by cancer and their family caregivers.

Cancer Support Community Affiliates and Support Groups for Caregivers: Find a Location Near You — Find location of support groups, educational sessions, health and wellness programs. Programs are free of charge to anyone affected by cancer, including patients, caregivers, loved ones and children. If you do not find a location near you, call the Cancer Support Community’s TOLL-FREE Helpline at 1-888-793-9355.

American Cancer Society: Caregivers and Family — Tips, support and other resources for caregivers for people with cancer. Offers a list of American Cancer Society Support Services and Programs for families who are managing cancer.

Caregiver’s Communication and Care Coordination

CarePages — Offers free, private web pages that make it easy for caregivers to stay connected with family, friends and others. You can send messages and post photos.

Lotsa Helping Hands — Offers free caregiving coordination service online. Provides a private, group calendar where caregivers can post tasks for which they need assistance. Family and friends can sign up online for a task. Summary report shows who has volunteered for tasks and which tasks remain unassigned. Tasks are tracked; notification and reminder emails are sent to the appropriate parties.

Caring Bridge — Non-profit offers a centralized, private place to share health updates for your family and friends as well as request and coordinate help.

Caregiver Support and Services

AARP Caregiving — Offers information about caregiving, including publications and audio-visual aids for caregivers.

National Alliance for Caregiving — Offers resources to help family caregivers address and cope with the challenges of caring for a loved one.

Family Care Alliance Navigator: State-by-State Help for Family Caregivers — Helps family caregivers find public, nonprofit, and private programs and services near their area of interest. Offers resources, including government health and disability programs, legal resources, disease-specific organizations and more. Offers support services for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s and other debilitating health conditions that strike adults.

Video Caregiving — A visual education tool for family caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s Disease, strokes, or other physical disabilities. The site features exclusive documentary-style videos, created by a team of award-winning film producers, which follow real life people as real life stories and issues unfold. Caregivers can find tools to better understand and deal with their situation.

AgingCare.com — Helps caregivers find support, resources and information as well as a community to connect with other caregivers. Offers a team of elder care experts who can answer questions from caregivers.

Caregiver.Com — Produces Today’s Caregiver magazine, the first national magazine dedicated to caregivers. Also offers articles, newsletter and conferences for caregivers.

Caregiver Action Network — Information, educational materials and support for family caregivers.

Next Step in Care — Offers easy-to-use guides to help family caregivers and health care providers implement safe and smooth transitions for chronically or seriously ill patients. Transitions involve changes between care settings, such as, hospital to home or rehab facility as well as the start or end of home care agency services.

Well Spouse Association — National membership organization offers support to husbands, wives and partners of the disabled and/or chronically ill. Offers a network of support groups and a newsletter for spouses and partners.

SAGECAP — Offers counseling, information and support groups for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender caregivers.

Caregivers, Sitters, Home Health Aides, Homemakers and Companions You Can Hire

Care.com — Offers fee-based care for seniors, pets or children as well as housekeeping services. Offers resources and tips to assist families through the search and hiring process. Through third-parties, they also offer three tiers of background checks which vary in comprehensiveness. Service is available in over 20 countries. Jobs are also available for caregivers looking for work.

Paid Home Health Aides — You can hire a home health aide to give personal care for your loved ones at home; click HERE and enter your zip code.

Paid Homemakers and Companions — You can hire a homemaker and companion to help your loved ones at home with light housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation and other tasks; click HERE and enter your zip code.

Care Management

You can hire a private geriatric care manager to provide hands-on management of services for your loved one. They are social workers and other health care professionals who help families deal with challenges associated with caring for the elderly.

Aging Life Care Association — Formerly the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. They can provide the names of geriatric care managers in your area.

Food and Meal Services

Meals on Wheels America — Offers referrals to local meal-delivery programs. You can also join others for meals in a group setting where seniors congregate, such as, senior centers. Meals may be provided along a sliding fee scale, from no cost to full price.

Boxed — No membership fees to get the products you love in bulk delivered to you.

Safeway Grocery Delivery — Shop online and have groceries delivered to you. There’s a $49 minimum purchase amount (excluding applicable tax, delivery fee, fuel surcharge, bottle deposits and bag fees where applicable) required to process and deliver your order. Same-day delivery if you order before 8:30 am. For more questions, click HERE.

Amazon Food Delivery from Restaurants — You have to join Amazon Prime to get food from local restaurants delivered to your home.

Amazon Fresh: Grocery Delivery — You have to join Amazon Prime to get groceries delivered to your home. Amazon just bought Whole Foods; so, you have more choices.

Diabetes Resources

American Diabetes Association — Resources and research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes.

Disability Services

Facing Disability — Offers more than 1,000 videos drawn from interviews of people with spinal cord injuries, their families, caregivers and experts.

Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Safety

Disaster Safety & Assistive Technology: Protection for Seniors & the Disabled — Offers resources and assistive technology for seniors and disabled individuals useful for all aspects of disaster safety and emergency preparedness, from prevention through intervention and evacuation.

End-of-Life Planning, Grief and Bereavement Support

The Conversation Project — Helps people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.

Aging with Dignity — Publishes the Five Wishes Living Will document; it’s a very user-friendly and comprehensive document that meets legal requirements in 35 states.

Caring Connections — Offers free brochures on end-of-life topics including advance care planning, caregiving, hospice and palliative care, pain, grief and loss as well as financial issues. Caring Connections also provides Advanced Directives for all states.

The Compassionate Friends — Offers support to bereaved families after the death of a child; they have a network of almost 700 chapters with locations in all 50 states as well as Washington DC, Puerto Rico and Guam.

Advanced Care Planning — Offers resources for individuals making plans for the care they want when they have a serious illness; this is called “advance care planning.” Planning involves learning about their illness and understanding their choices for treatments and care.

Health Insurance and Benefits

Social Security Administration — Get information on retirement, disability, survivors and other Social Security benefits. You can also apply for benefits.

Help and information on eligibility and benefits are available online during these hours:

  • Monday – Friday 5 AM – 1 AM ET
  • Saturday 5 AM – 11 PM ET
  • Sunday 8 AM – 11:30 PM ET

You can call 1-800-772-1213 to use the automated telephone services and get recorded information and conduct some business 24/7.

You can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can have a shorter wait time if you call during the week after Tuesday.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call the toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Medicare —  Provides information about the Medicare program and how to find Medicare plans and providers. The toll-free number is 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227).

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) — Offers in-person help with Medicare. You can call 877-839-2675.

Medicaid/MediCal — Offers information about Medicaid or MediCal benefits and resources.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Offers information about Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS): Prescription Drug Assistance Programs — CMS has implemented data exchanges with Prescription Drug Assistance Programs, including State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (SPAPs), AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) and Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) to coordinate Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits with other coverage a Medicare beneficiary may have.

Medicare Rights Center — Offers Medicare Interactive (MI), a free and independent online reference tool designed to help older adults and people with disabilities navigate the complex world of health insurance. Offers direct assistance to older adults and people with disabilities as well as their friends, family and caregivers. Call the national telephone helpline (800-333-4114) to get help.

Heart Disease Resources

American Heart Association —  Offers resources to help you better care for someone who has heart disease or who has had a heart attack, heart surgery or a stroke.

Home Care, Palliative and Hospice Services

National Association for Home Care and Hospice — Get access to a list of home healthcare agencies across the country.

National Association for Home Care and Hospice — Offers consumer information on how to select a home care provider or hospice.

Visiting Nurse Associations of America — VNAA promotes community based home healthcare. You can contact them to find their local VNAA.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization — Offers free consumer information on hospice care and hospice programs.

Hospice Foundation of America — Hosts an annual teleconference on issues of bereavement. Offers publications on grief and bereavement.

Housing and Senior Living Options: Assisted Living, Long Term Care and Residential Care

LeadingAge — Consumer information on long-term care facilities and services as well as how to access them.

Senior Advisor — One of the nation’s largest senior living review sites. Browse photos, ratings and opinions of assisted living, dementia care, independent living, senior apartments, and more. Find top rated senior in-home care providers and elder care attorneys. Offers a community full of advice for your retirement planning.

Consumer Consortium on Assisted Living (CCAL) — National consumer-focused organization is dedicated to representing the needs of residents in assisted living facilities and educating consumers, professionals and the general public about assisted living issues. Family caregivers can request the publication, “Choosing an Assisted Living Facility: Strategies for Making the Right Decision;” this provides helpful information and a concise checklist for those considering assisted living.

National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform — Information clearinghouse also offers referrals nationwide for help with concerns about long-term care facilities.

Caring.com — Offers free, nationwide directory of senior living and care providers, including information on virtually every U.S.-based provider of assisted living communities, independent living and other residential care options. Browse photos, consumer reviews and amenities and cost information to make an informed choice about the community that’s right for you or your loved ones.

You can browse nationwide senior care directory or search by zip code. You can also get help from knowledgeable Family Advisors by calling toll-free: 1-800-973-1540. Senior living and care providers don’t pay to be listed in the directory.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Long-Term Care — Offers information on planning and financing long-term care, including planning for end-of-life care as well as all major types of public and private financing to help cover long-term care costs.

Making the Move to Assisted Living — Offers a guide for people considering moving to assisted living facilities.

Home Safety and Accessibility

National Association of Home Builders — Offers directory of certified aging-in-place specialists who can identify and/or provide home modifications that make a home accessible, safer and more comfortable.

Keeping Seniors and Special Needs Individuals Safe Around Construction Areas — Offers a comprehensive guide for seniors, disabled adults and their caregivers to safely navigate construction sites.

Tips for Seniors and Individuals with Special Needs to Declutter and Organize Their Home  — A disorganized or cluttered home can lead to falls and other risks to seniors and disabled persons. Guide offers safety recommendations and best practices.

Legal and Financial Services

WISER (Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement)Financial Steps for Caregivers: What You Need to Know About Money and Retirement can help you identify financial decisions you may face as a caregiver. The decision to become a caregiver can affect both your short-term and long-term financial security, including your own retirement.

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys — A professional association of attorneys who specialize in legal services for older adults and people with special needs. Find information on legal issues affecting older adults and a database of elder law attorneys by state.

Legal Resources and Considerations for Seniors and Persons with Special Needs — Offers legal resources for the elderly, disabled and individuals with special needs.

Mental Health Resources

HelpPRO® Therapist Finder — Find individual counseling, family counseling, couples counseling and therapy groups.

Psychology Today Therapy Directory — Talk with a trained professional about issues, including depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts and career frustrations. Clinical social workers make up more than 40% of the Psychology Today Therapy Directory listings.

Find a Therapist — Find a therapist near you.

Find a Treatment Center — Find residential treatment centers, outpatient clinics, community mental health centers, hospitals and other mental health organizations in your local area.

Patient Advocacy and Assistance

Patient Advocate Foundation — National non-profit organization serves as an active liaison between the patient and their insurer, employer and/or creditors to resolve insurance, job retention and/or debt crisis matters relative to their diagnosis through case managers, doctors and attorneys.

Helps patients through effective mediation, arbitration and negotiation to settle issues with access to care, medical debt and job retention related to their health issues. Helps patients with access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability.

Services are free. Patient Advocate Foundation provides case management services, educational materials and live chat services at no charge to patients.

Private Duty Nurses

Private duty nursing is skilled care provided by a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). They can provide 24/7 nursing care or short visits. To find private duty nurses near you, click HERE and enter your zip code.

Respite Care Resources

Respite care can help caregivers take a break or a respite from the demands of providing constant care. It can be essential in decreasing physical and emotional stress for the caregiver. Respite care includes adult day care and home care services as well as overnight stays in a facility; it can be provided a few hours, a weekend or even a week.

National Respite Network: Respite Locator — Find respite services in the United States and Canada.

Social Workers

HelpPRO Social Worker Finder — Find a clinical social worker who can help in your town or across the country.

Transportation and Travel Resources

The Patient Travel Referral Program — The Patient Travel Referral program provides information about all forms of charitable, long-distance medically-related transportation and provides referrals to all appropriate sources of help available in the national charitable medical transportation network.

The referral service is free and it’s available 24/7. You need to fill out a form to request a referral.

The purpose of the Patient Travel Referral (a program of Mercy Medical Angels, America’s Charitable Transportation System) is to ensure that no financially-needy patient is denied access to distant specialized medical evaluation, diagnosis or treatment for lack of a means of long-distance medical transportation.

Outreach Transportation Service — Provides low-cost transportation service in the Santa Clara County, California for persons with disabilities, seniors, and other populations like Veterans, low-income persons, etc. You can search Google.com to find similar low-cost transportation services in your area.

Uber — Get a ride from an Uber driver near you. This can be cheaper and more convenient than public transportation.

Lyft — Get a ride from a Lyft driver near you. This can be cheaper and more convenient than public transportation.

Enterprise Car Rental — This car rental service will pick you up and drop you off; so, you don’t need your own car to rent any of their vehicles. Check the site for the $9.99/day week-end special. If you’re travelling outside of your state, make sure you pay extra (about $5/day) for unlimited mileage.

Veteran’s and Military Resources

Department of Veteran’s Affairs — Find information about benefits, services and other resources for veterans. Veteran support falls into three main categories: Health Care, Benefits and Services as well as Burials and Memorials.

Department of Veteran’s Affairs: Caregiver Support — Offers support and services for families caring for veterans. Find local caregiver support programs for veterans.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Dementia Care (including Alzheimer’s) — Care for Veterans with Alzheimer’s or dementia is provided through VA health care services. Services may include home based primary care, homemaker and home health aide, respite care, adult day health care, outpatient clinic, inpatient hospital, nursing home, palliative care or hospice care depending on Veteran’s needs. Offers caregiver support also.

Military and Veterans Benefits — Offers information about military and veterans’ benefits, including benefits for their family.

PTSD and Substance Abuse Help for Veterans

Guide to Finding a PTSD Therapist

How to Stop Living Out of Your Car – Guide for Homeless Vets

Homeless Veterans’ Resources

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

Financial Benefits of a Military Career

Financial Assistance for Homeless Vets

Homes for Homeless Vets

Support for Veterans and Their Struggles

Legal Advice for Veterans