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Last Updated on February 15, 2018

family caregiver support programThe National Family Caregiver Support Program is dedicated to assisting caregivers with grants and funding so they can care for older adults in their home as long as possible. It has been around since 2000, and funding is allocated to states based on their share of the population age 70 and over.

Caregivers can turn to the National Family Caregiver Support Program when they need help with:   

  • Acquiring information about how to be a family caregiver
  • Gaining access to services
  • Individual counseling, organization of support groups, and caregiver training
  • Respite care
  • Supplemental service

Services provided by the National Family Caregiver Support Program have been shown to reduce caregiver depression, anxiety, and stress thereby extending the length of their care.

Who is Eligible for the National Family Caregiver Support Program?

Specific types of caregivers are eligible to receive services through the NFCSP, as of the 2016 Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act. They include:

  • Caregivers, including adult family members, providing care to individuals 60 years of age and older.
  • Caregivers, including adult family members, providing care to individuals of any age with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.
  • Non-parent relatives age 55 and older providing care to children under the age of 18
  • Parents and relatives, age 55 and older, providing care to adults ages 18-59 with disabilities.

In order to receive access to available programs and services, family caregivers of elderly are asked to present their unique needs to the National Family Caregiver Support Program. Available programs and services vary among states and communities. The most frequently requested services include:   

  • Access Assistance Services: Helps caregivers locate services from a variety of private and voluntary agencies.
  • Counseling and Training Services: Provides caregivers with counseling, peer support groups, and family caregiver training to help cope with the stress that comes with caregiving.
  • Respite Care Services: Provides temporary relief from caregiving responsibilities, either at home or in an institutional setting.

Services provided by the NFCSP have proven to be effective at helping older adults live at home longer. Caregivers who have received access to services report that the services helped them to become a better caregiver— being able to provide care for a longer period of time than would have been possible otherwise.

In Summary

There is no denying that being a family caregiver is a tough job, but it doesn’t have to be done alone. Support programs and services exist in every state because it’s necessary to care for the caregivers as well. Selfless caregivers are honored every year during national family caregiver’s month, but rest assured that support is offered year-round.

Looking after a caregiver’s well-being is of the utmost importance because a healthy caregiver means the care recipient can stay in their own home for up to three times longer. Never neglect your own self-care in the pursuit of caring for loved ones, because your physical and mental health can affect theirs as well. Help exists for a reason.

If you found this article helpful, you might also appreciate our article on self-care tips for caregivers.

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