1. People & Relationships

Caregiver Resource List

By

A caregiver resource list can help you locate programs and services that will benefit the individual you are caring for as well as yourself. Many people who have a caregiver role are unaware of assistance that may be available to them, such as educational programs for caregivers and a variety of financial benefits that help to cover the costs of prescription medications, medical equipment, food and housing of the individual you are caring for.

The following list of organizations can help make your role of care giving a little easier with programs and services that can help to support your unique situation.

1. Administration on Aging

wavebreakmediamicro @Dreamstime.com

The Administration on Aging is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. The mission of the AoA is to “develop a comprehensive, coordinated and cost-effective system of home and community-based services that helps elderly individuals maintain their health and independence in their homes and communities.” Examples of the types of programs they offer include Community Innovations for Aging in Place - designed to help older Americans stay in their homes and communities, the National Family Caregiver Support Program, and Community Living Grants, which provide financial assistance for older individuals so that they can stay in their communities and avoid being placed in a nursing home.

2. Benefits Check Up

Johann2011@Dreamstime.com

For those living in the U.S., the National Council on Aging provides online applications and guidelines to help individuals facing financial hardship find funding for their prescription medications, healthcare costs and food. The service is offered free of charge to the disabled and their caregivers.

3. Family Caregiving 101

Paul Moore@Dreamstime.com
The Family Caregiving 101's program is called "Family Caregiving: It’s not all up to you." Their mission is to "provide caregivers with the basic tools, skills and information they need to protect their own physical and mental health while they provide high quality care for their loved ones." The website provides a message board for caregivers to share ideas and give support for each other.

4. Long Term Care Services and Costs Tool

pictureserver @Dreamstime.com
The National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information provides caregivers and their families planning resources for the potential need for long term care. Medicare and private health insurance companies do not pay for many of the services an individual may need to maintain their independence in their homes. This planning tool can help families budget for unexpected costs.

5. Medicare Eligibility Tool

Kristina0702@Dreamstime.com
Find out if you or your loved one is eligible for Medicare benefits with the government eligibility tool. The website also includes information on enrollment period, eligibility criteria, premium cost and an explanation of Medicare parts A, B, C, and D.

6. National Alliance for Caregiving

Robert Kneschke@Dreamstime.com
The National Alliance for Caregiving's mission is to "be the objective national resource on family caregiving with the goal of improving the quality of life for families and care recipients. Visitors to the site will find caregiver's stories, legislation updates, the Caregiving Exchange newsletter, and current research. Resources include webcasts, educational materials for caregivers and conference materials that are available for download.

7. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Masta4650@Dreamstime.com
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is available to disabled individuals who meet certain income criteria. Deductions in income are included when prescription medications exceed $35 dollars per month. Applicants can call the 1-800 number associated with their state; these numbers are listed on the SNAP program website.

8. Veterans Administration Caregiver Support

Charlotte Gerber
The VA Caregiver website provides many sources of assistance and tools available to caregivers of veterans. Their Caregiver Toolbox provides many downloadable items, such as checklists for daily care, diagnosis care sheets and organization tips, as well as access to the RESCUE program for caregivers of individuals who have had a stroke.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.