This is National Family Caregivers Month, an opportunity to recognize the dedication of individuals who provide care to someone they love, from parents caring for children with disabilities to adult children caring for their parents or grandparents. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance’s National Center on Caregiving, more than 43 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last year, estimated at more than $470 billion in value of services. These dedicated caregivers aren’t alone, however. There are agencies, organizations, and healthcare providers who can help. There are also guides, tools, and apps in the marketplace which add extra support.
Resources from the NIDILRR grantee community include:
- Research briefs from the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Family Supports cover topics like family experiences with long-term services and supports, siblings as caregivers, profiles of family caregivers and the individuals they support, and employment outcomes and leave policies.
- This center also examined Promising Practices in Family Support across the lifespan, finding 28 practices across domains of information and training support, emotional support, and instrumental support
- Coping with Caregiver Burnout When Caring for a Person with Neurodegenerative Disease: A Guide for Caregivers was published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation under a field initiated grant. It describes the signs of burnout and recommendations to relieve stress and burden.
- AbleData offers a Caregivers Guide to Assistive Technology for Alzheimer’s Disease and Five Useful Resources for Caregivers of Older Adults.
- In addition, the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center offers information about maintaining health and wellness following spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and burn injury which can be helpful to individuals who are providing care for loved-ones with these injuries.
- Hear from caregivers who have supported loved ones with spinal cord injury in this SCI Forum Video from the Northwest Regional SCI Model System
And in honor of National Information and Referral Day (Nov 16th), we suggest adding these helplines to your toolbox as well. These centers are staffed by knowledgeable people, many of whom are certified by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) as Information & Referral Specialists, like our staff, and adhere to high standards for I&R services and support. They will ask you the right questions to connect you to the best resources locally, nationally, and online:
- Eldercare Locator, funded by the Administration on Aging, connects you to services in your community, including Area Agencies on Aging: eldercare.acl.gov or 800/677-1116
- 2-1-1 is a free, confidential service that connects people in the US (and some parts of Canada) to local resources they need: 211.org or dial 2-1-1 in many communities.
- Family Caregiver Alliance National Center on Caregiving is a nonprofit organization supporting families providing care to loved ones with disabilities and chronic health conditions: Visit their Family Care Navigator to find local resources or call their toll-free information line at 800/445-8106.
- Visit your local library and talk to a reference librarian about caregiving resources in their collection.
Your healthcare provider, Employee Assistance Program, or community health center may also be able to connect you to supports and services in your area.
If you are interested in research in caregiving, family supports, and the growing field of formal caregiving, please contact our information specialists to explore our collection.
A deep and heartfelt thank you to our caregivers.