Agency on Aging

Caregiver Support & Respite Services

 

Caregiving During the Holiday

I think the most difficult part of the holidays is trying to pretend that nothing has changed: the holidays will be merry and bright. Sometimes the holidays are less merry than we’d hoped. The people we love have changed. Our visions of sugar plums have been exchanged for medical equipment and incontinence products. It’s hard to watch people change and feel powerless to stop it. It causes sadness when people we love no longer participate in the holidays. Each holiday that passes reminds us that time isn’t standing still. We are on a path that doesn’t have the ending for which we hope. What can a caregiver do about all this?
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Being a caregiver can be a very rewarding experience.  But it is a very demanding job both physically and mentally. Help and support are available.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

The Agency on Aging of South Central CT is sponsoring a self-care education program for family caregivers, designed to provide you with tools and strategies to better handle the unique challenges you face.

The free workshop series consists of six sessions. We will be offering 2 virtual winter sessions.
Session 1: January 6, 13, 20, 27 and February 3, 10 and
Session 2: February 24th and March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31.
All on Fridays from 130p-3pm (90 minutes).
The six sessions will be presented by Dr. Beverly Kidder and Patricia Soos.

A Zoom link will be provided once you are registered.   Please only register if you plan to attend all or most of the six weeks. Space is limited we can only allow a maximum of 12 people per session.

Questions? Contact Patricia Soos at (203) 785-8533 x. 3159, psoos@aoascc.org

To register click here.


AOASCC Caregiver Support Group

Don't Go it Alone!  Please Join Patricia every 2nd Tuesday of the month from 4pm-5pm via Zoom for our virtual support group.  Our goal is to explore many topics related to caregiving as well as sharing your experiences with other caregivers. Support groups provide a safe and supportive environment and can provide additional tools that can help thru out your caregiving journey.

Call Patricia Soos at 203-785-8533 X3159 or email at psoos@aoascc.org to register. Once you are registered the Zoom link will be provided. 


Counseling and training

Through the National Family Caregiver Training Program, caregivers can receive information, counseling and referral to services. In addition, training is provided to caregivers and support groups are available through collaboration with community partners.

Respite services

Family caregivers need a break from time to time. Respite care is a short-term option designed to provide a break from the physical and emotional stress from caregiving.  Respite takes many forms - it might be getting someone else to do the shopping and run errands for a few months; perhaps providing transportation would be a big relief; or maybe someone coming into the home for a few hours a week so the caregiver can go outside the home with peace of mind. 

Respite care services include, but are not limited to: adult day care, home health aides, homemaker, companion, skilled nursing care, or short term assisted living or nursing home care. Funds may be used for day or night respite. Services are available through the National Family Caregiver Support Program or the Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program. A mandatory assessment must be completed before respite services are provided.

Respite plans vary. Call us or connect through our contact form and one of our staff help you develop a plan for respite that meets your needs.

Supplemental services

Supplemental services are one-time health-related items or service options designed to help “fill the gap” when there is a need or there are no other ways to obtain the service or item. Supplemental services help improve the quality of life for the care recipient and help to alleviate the strain on caregivers who care for older individuals. Supplemental services include, but are not limited to, home safety modifications and medical related equipment. These services are available through the National Family Caregiver Support Program only.

Applying for the National Family Caregiver Support Program and/or the CT Statewide Respite Care Program
Application Instructions
Application

Adult day centers

Adult Day Centers provide a supportive, safe environment for adults who need supervised care. An ADC can be respite and support for the caregiver or a “home away from home” while you work.

The quality services at a center include socialization and recreation in a group setting – exercise, music, arts and crafts, and other activities that stimulate thinking and social engagement. Meals and snacks are provided and many centers are equipped to provide specialized diets. Transportation usually can be provided as well. Centers using a Medical Model also offer medical monitoring and medication administration, as well as assistance with personal needs.

Find a center in south central Connecticut

 

Support Groups

If you are a family caregiver you may feel like you're all alone facing difficult problems. Support groups bring together people facing similar issues, and provide assurance that you are not truly alone.  Members of support groups often share experiences and advice. It can be helpful just getting to talk with other people who are in the same situation.

 A support group can help you cope better and feel less isolated as you make connections with others facing similar challenges. Support groups are not the same as group therapy sessions. There are a variety of types of groups, including in person, on the Internet or by telephone. They may be led by professional facilitators or by group members.

Regardless of format, in a support group, you'll find people with problems similar to yours. Members usually share their personal experiences and offer one another emotional comfort and moral support. They may also offer practical advice and tips to help you cope with your situation.

Some of the benefits of support groups for caregivers are: feeling less lonely, isolated or judged; gaining a sense of control; improving your coping skills; reducing stress and anxiety; better understanding what to expect in your situation; and sharing information about resources and options.

If you would like information about available family caregiver support groups, contact AOASCC to request a copy of the caregiver support group directory or click here for a copy.  

 

Other Resources

For more articles about caregiving, visit our info library.