Are You A Caregiver?

AgeSmart can help

Caring for an older adult family member or friend can be a daunting task. So many times, the Caregiver can exhaust themselves. You do not have to go it alone. AgeSmart can help with services and resources to make this very important role of a caregiver easier.

Caregiver Resource Specialist

AgeSmart’s Caregiver Specialists can provide one-on-one assistance to link you to services to help meet the needs of the person you are caring for.  Every situation is different and Caregiver Specialists can help you customize a plan for the person you are caring for.  Using a comprehensive resource data base, they can provide guidance and options for your loved one’s care. Call AgeSmart for more information 618-222-2561.

You can also start this process by taking the online Assessment below.  Your contact information will be forwarded to AgeSmart (and no other organization will receive your information).  After completing the online assessment, the Caregiver Specialist will call and set up an appointment with you to fully discuss your current situation and needs as a caregiver.

National ElderCare Locator

The National ElderCare Locator is also available for you if you are caring for an individual in another state.  Access the ElderCare locator at https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/Index.aspx   or call 1-800-677-1116. Using the ElderCare Locator you can find the local Area Agency on Aging in that person’s community.

Respite Care

Sometimes a simple break from the caregiving role can help the caregiver.  AgeSmart offers a Respite program which reimburses the caregiver up to $100 a month. They can use this to purchase care allowing them to get a break from caregiving responsibilities.  Call AgeSmart for more information 618-222-2561.

Caregiver Counseling

Short-term counseling is available for St. Clair, Madison and Bond County residents, related to topics of aging, illness, grief, life events, caregiving and community resources.  The counselors are available for in-home appointments.  In Madison and Bond Counties, contact Centerstone at 618-462-2331 and in St. Clair County, contact SWIC Programs and Services for Older Adults at 618-222-4410.

Savvy Caregiver

Taking care of a person living with Alzheimer’s or related dementia at home is specialized work. Caregivers need special skills, knowledge, and a positive attitude that helps them to care for themselves.

Savvy Caregiver training sessions aid family caregivers in this role. This free six-week training for family and friends offers techniques and coping skills when caring for a loved one experiencing Alzheimer’s or related dementias. For sessions near you, call AgeSmart at 618-222-2561.

Stress Busting for Caregivers

The impact of stress on your health and its relationship to your caregiving is significant.  Stress busting helps you deal with stress through relaxation techniques and problem solving.  It also teaches you how to care for yourself while providing better care for your loved one. Caregivers who have completed this program feel significantly lower stress, depression, and anxiety and are able to enjoy a better quality of life. They have also experienced improvement in their ability to relax, manage stress and feel better about themselves. For sessions near you, call AgeSmart at 618-222-2561.

Memory Cafes

If you are living with a person with dementia, it is sometimes difficult to get out and do simple things with your loved one like going to dinner.  You may be concerned about your loved one’s behavior or abilities and, therefore, just stay home.  Memory Cafés provide a comfortable environment where you can meet with other caregivers and their loved ones and participate in activities. For more information contact St. John’s Community Care at 618-344-5008.

Legal Services

Having your legal documents in order is very important.  AgeSmart provides funding to Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation to assist with legal issues caregivers face. For more information call Land of Lincoln Legal Aid at 618-398-0958.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

In Illinois, more than 200,000 children are being raised in grandparent-headed homes.  If you are one of these grandparents, help is available for you.  Assistance can range from financial assistance, guardianship, legal information and assistance. For more information call Children’s Home and Aid at 618-235-2335.

Advice from caregivers for caregivers:

Ask for help.  Do not try to do it all yourself.

Never make promises you can’t keep.

Trust your instincts. Most of the time they will lead you in the right direction.

Educate yourself on your loved one’s condition.  This will help you communicate with doctors.

Breathe!

Caregiving Information from AgeSmart Community Resources