Caregiver Support

I was on the verge of burn out. My wife and I were the primary caregivers for my Mom. I couldn’t keep juggling my job, family and personal needs while I took care of my mother too. My sisters live close by, but weren’t very involved, which I resented. I was also buying my Mom’s incontinence supplies, and the costs were adding up.

Sharon, the Caregiver Specialist did an Assessment with me which helped me see what I needed to change so I would not be so stressed out. I desperately needed to address my self-care. I had grown so angry at everyone; my sisters for not pitching in, my wife for not being more understanding and even my Mom, even though I knew the situation was not her fault. It wasn’t healthy.

A family meeting helped me talk with my sisters about how we could work together to keep our Mom safe in her home. The caregiver specialist gave us various caregiver resources. I joined a Support Group and the Caregiver Scholarship helped with the incontinence supplies. I’m now confident we can care for my Mom together. I’m grateful for the help of the Caregiver Program, every caregiver should give a call – support is there!”

Overview

Caregiving could be one of the most important things you ever do.  It can be challenging and rewarding—and often frustrating.  The Caregiver Program provides you the support and services you need to make life easier for yourself and the individual you’re caring for.

Finding ways to cope with the strains and stresses of caregiving can be challenging, but we are here to help.

These are some of the services MHCC provides:

  • In-home assessments to help you determine how much and what kinds of support could be helpful
  • Information about the resources available and referrals to the specific services and programs that meet your needs
  • Counseling and support groups to help you cope with the stress, worry, and loneliness that caregivers often experience
  • Education and training in the skills that caregiving requires and specialized support in dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • Meetings with caregivers individually and as a family to work on particular needs
  • Assistance in finding respite care to give yourself “time off” from your caregiving responsibilities

CAREGIVER SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

The Caregiver Scholarship is a helpful benefit of the caregiver program. This program is meant to be easy to use and flexible. There is no income requirement or need for ongoing case management. Scholarship amounts vary but are usually around $500 per year to assist a caregiver with out-of-pocket expenses or other needs that arise in their caregiver journey. Scholarships can be given via reimbursement to the caregiver, purchases from the agency, or through gift cards, such as to a pharmacy. They can be given all at once or spread throughout the year, whatever is most helpful to the caregiver.

These scholarships are typically used for: Respite, Safety, Technology and Comfort needs as well as activities to occupy the care recipient.

Examples of each of these include:

  • Respite: reimbursements for private care arranged in the home, Adult Day Health or facility stays
  • Safety equpiment
    • Wandering deterrents: Alarms for beds, doors, stoves
    • Fall Prevention: grab bars, railings, durable medical equipment
  • Technology: Automatic pill dispenser, video system, tablet
  • Comfort: Lift recliners, easy to wear clothing, Automated comfort pet, weighted blanket
  • Activities: Fidget blanket, cognitive-appropriate activities and games

Some caregivers have used their scholarship to stock up on incontinence or other personal care supplies, as these can add up quickly.

Limitations

Although we know how valuable caregivers are, unfortunately the scholarship cannot:

  1. Pay a caregiver for care they are providing themselves
  2. Pay for a vacation stay or travel expenses the caregiver incurs while away
  3. Pay the caregiver for caring for additional people, such as when an adult child is caring for both parents-only one scholarship can be awarded per caregiver
  4. Pay ongoing bills such as mortgage, rent, utilities or car payments

ELIGIBILITY

The individual providing care must:

  • Live in North Central Massachusetts or care for someone living in North Central Massachusetts
  • Be of any age caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or related Dementia
  • Be of any age caring for someone over the age of 60
  • Be 55 or older caring for a disabled adult between the ages of 18-59
  • Be 55 or older caring for a grandchild or relative child under the age of 18

Resources

Access the Caregiver Guide in both English and Spanish by clicking below.

CONTACT

Are you in need of Caregiver Support? Do you need more information on Caregiver Support? We are happy to help! Fill out the form below and MHCC will be in touch shortly.

Caregiver Support Inquiry

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