Agency on Aging

Caregiver Support & Respite Services

Help for Caregivers
Are you a caregiver for another person?  Family caregivers need a break from time to time.  There is help available to provide respite for family caregivers.  The Agency on Aging has some limited funds to help caregivers get the break they need.  Completing a simple application is all that’s needed to determine if a caregiver qualifies.  Respite can take 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 for the caregiver.  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 plans vary. The Agency on Aging has staff who can help you develop a plan for respite that meets your needs.  Call us at 1-800 994-9422 and ask to talk with someone the caregiver program.

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

Respite care is a short-term option designed to provide a break from the physical and emotional stress from caregiving. 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.

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.

Application for respite services - English

Application for respite services - Spanish

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.  For more articles about caregiving, visit our info library.