Caregivers are superheroes in everyday clothes living everyday lives. November is National Family Caregivers Month, which is dedicated to supporting caregivers as they care for others. More than 65 million Americans care for their aging parents or family members with disabilities. These people often have to balance the work of caring for their loved one with the demands of their careers and raising their own children.
For those of us who are caregivers of aging family members, it is important that we have access to the vital information to perform our role to the best of our abilities and that we are able to take care of ourselves in this process. The following list will provide information on resources, self-care, and advocacy for caregivers of adults.
- The Bucks County Area Agency on Aging (AAA), located in Doylestown, offers over 20 programs and services to assist older adults to remain in their homes successfully or to obtain placement outside their homes when necessary. The AAA also has a comprehensive information and referral department to answer questions and offer referrals to other agencies in the community for specific services as needed. They offer a compiled list of caregiving-related websites for both information and caregiver support.
- AARP has a Family Caregiving site that offers the most up-to-date information on older adults for care at home, nursing homes, medical, financial and legal support, life balance, and local resources. This site also provides insight on the current pandemic and how it has affected both caregiving and long-term care facilities. For more specifics on COVID-19 information for nursing homes, visit the PA Department of Health.
- The PA Department of Aging provides further resources for caregivers of adults, including a Family Caregiver Webinar Series, online support groups, resources for Veterans, and information about the Alzheimer’s Association.
- The United Way of Pennsylvania offers a help section specifically for older adults and caregivers on topics such as: general resources, food, transportation, housing, accessibility, mobility, communication, mental and physical health, enrichment, in-home assistance, benefits, legal services, and advocacy.
- Through PA 211, the United Way also offers a wide range of other resources, including: disability services, mental health, substance use, family resources, Veterans assistance, community resources, and more.
- Or if you need to connect with resources in your community, but don’t know where to look, you can dial 211 or text your zip code to 898-211 to connect with a resource specialist for free.
- Information on caregiving is also available from your local library in both print and digitally on Hoopla.
Being a caregiver can be both rewarding and challenging. Our hope is that some of these resources will provide information and assistance to those of us who need it, along with ways to ensure support and care for the caregiver.
— Kathleen L., Collection Management Librarian