Helping Family Caregivers

Family Caregivers are people (fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, spouses) who provide care for a loved one on a regular basis without financial compensation, many times putting their own health at risk. This care is often the only thing keeping the recipient from a nursing home.

Help for caregivers includes the following:

The National Family Caregiving Support Program (NFCSP) provides resources and assistance for unpaid caregivers providing care for someone who is 60 years of age or older or someone with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. The program also assists caregivers 55 years or older caring for a minor child under the age of 18. Services include counseling and support groups, caregiver training, respite care, personal care, homemaker and adult daycare.

To learn more about the NFCSP in your area, contact the local Area Agency on Aging and Disability (AAAD) 866-836-6678 (toll-free).

Respite is a temporary break from caregiving that allows the caregiver to take some personal time. Every caregiver needs a break now and then, and everybody benefits. Contact the Tennessee Respite Coalition (TRC) to find
low- or no-cost respite services through a voucher system. TRC also oversees the Senior Companion program. To learn more about the program, call 888-579-3754.

Caregiver Stress

Caregiver stress can impact the physical, emotional, and financial health of caregivers. Here are a few suggestions for caregivers to keep themselves healthy:

  • Join a caregiver support group in person or on the phone.
  • Look for opportunities for respite at an adult day center or in-home respite provider.
  • Build a reliable team to back you up. Ask for help when you need it.
  • Know your limits. Practice saying no for those times when you don’t have the strength, time, funds or energy.
  • Maintain your own health by keeping appointments with your primary care physician, eating healthy, exercising and getting enough sleep.

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