Your father has dementia, your mom falls periodically, and your neighbor struggles with grocery shopping. They all need your assistance now, in one way or another. Before you realized it, you entered a new phase of your life—caregiving.
You've probably heard the word "caregiver" but what does it really mean? A caregiver is a relative or friend who provides care for an older or disabled adult. Caregiving can be as intense as providing around the clock care for a person with dementia, or as simple as regularly picking up groceries for a neighbor.
Caregiving is important work and it can be rewarding, but it can also be stressful. You are not alone. An estimated 679,000 Minnesotans are caregiving for an older or disabled adult.
Are you juggling the competing demands of work and caregiving? You are not alone the majority of caregivers are employed. See tips on finding balance between work and caregiving English, Spanish
Is it time to hold a family meeting? A "family meeting" is a chance for spouses, partners, children, and others to discuss the care of an older family member. It helps families identify needs, share responsibilities, and come up with a plan that will best serve the older adult and family as a whole. Steps for Holding a Family Meeting.
Caregiving might have become part of your life abruptly, or you might have gradually taken on more and more responsibilities. The pressure of caring for someone else can take a toll on your health. See Taking Care of You, A Family Caregiver Alliance factsheet.
Does the person you are caring for need help living at home? Learn more about the Live Well at Home program
Could you use help with day-to-day caregiving? The Minnesota Board on Aging has seven regional Area Agencies on Aging who are dedicated to addressing the needs of older adults and their families by providing a range of services and resources in local communities. This includes caregiver coaching/consulting, respite care services, Powerful Tools for Caregivers, TCARE® (Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral), and memory care. To learn more see Resources for Caregivers.
Are you caring for someone with Alzheimer's Disease or a related dementia? At first you may be able to handle the responsibilities yourself, but in time your family member will need more help with everyday tasks. MN Memory Care site.
Don't struggle alone with your caregiving responsibilities. More help is available than you may realize. Discover the many resources available in your area by visiting the Caregiver Link in www.MinnesotaHelp.Info® or calling the Senior LinkAge Line®: A One Stop Shop for Minnesota Seniors, at 1-800-333-2433.
Family Caregiver Alliance www.caregiver.org
National Alliance for Caregiving www.caregiving.org
National Family Caregiver's Association www.thefamilycaregiver.org
Minnesota Live Well At Home www.mnlivewellathome.org
Healthy Aging Minnesota www.mnhealthyaging.org
November is Family Caregiver Month in Minnesota
Read Governor Dayton's Proclamation
Minnesota's Caregiver Communication Kit