Improved medical care has increased the average American’s lifespan. But a longer life can also mean coping with chronic illnesses — which can require additional help from loved ones.
Around 43.5 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the prior year, according to a report by AARP. An aging baby boomer population means this number could be on the rise.
In California and nationally, there are many services to assist aging Americans and their caregivers. Services at the local, state, and national level provide different levels of care and can vary widely. Services can help connect you with people who will stay with your loved one while you run errands, find support groups with other caregivers, provide tips on choosing a home health agency, and offer stress-busting classes like yoga and meditation.
But connecting those services into a whole package takes work. Here are a few places to start to help you find the support and resources you need:
- For Californians, the Family Caregiver Alliance can help connect you with a local staff member who will help you determine your needs and find resources.
- Elder Care is another great resource. Once connected with your local Area Agency on Aging, you can request a personalized assessment.
- Throughout the country, www.caregiver.org is a great starting point for finding free support in your area.
- For online support, aarp.org/caregiving, provides help in multiple languages, with free online webinars and resource guides.
- Hospitals often have social workers, who can be resources for services in your community.
The physical and emotional toll of caring for a sick or injured family member can be overwhelming. But in order to support a loved one, it’s important to take care of yourself as well. Try to find time to get the help you need so you stay healthy and happy.
Learn more about resources in California and beyond for caregivers.