Every day, millions of older Americans (those 65 years of age or older) manage basic health, and functioning needs with the help of family caregivers. Approximately 43.5 million caregivers (defined as relatives, partners, friends, or neighbors who provide assistance because of a personal relationship rather than financial compensation) set up medical appointments, coordinate services, help with daily tasks, prepare meals, assist with transportation, manage medicines, and handle bills and banking. Whether the person they are caring for is living with them or living hundreds of miles away, individuals caring for an older adult sacrifice a lot of their own time and even their wellbeing.
Without a doubt, the services that the family caregiver provides is invaluable. We celebrate National Family Caregiver Month to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country during the month of November. It is a time to educate family caregivers about self-care and increase awareness about services and supports available to assist in their journey.
To help give caregivers an opportunity to connect with other caregivers and learn about available resources while remaining safe during the pandemic, Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging has set up weekly caregiver support group conference calls.
Caregiver Support Groups - Call 1-800-264-8432 at the designated times and use participant code 961847#
- Mondays 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
- Tuesdays 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
- Wednesdays 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
- Thursdays 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Grand Parent Support Group:
NEI3A has also designated a support group for grandparents that are raising grandchildren. The GrandParent Support Group Conference call is held on Mondays from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. To join call 1-800-264-8432 and use participant code 961847#.
Online Education and Information:
- mmLearn.org offers a wide variety of education and training for caregivers.
- When Dementia Knocks information presented by Dr. Elaine Eshbaugh, Professor of Family Services & Gerontology at the University of Northern Iowa provides insite into dealing with Alzheimers and related dementias.
Local Library Resources
Check your local library for the following resources:
- The Magic of Humor in Caregiving by James R. Sherman
- Preventing Caregiver Burnout by James R. Sherman
- Positive Caregiver Attitudes by James R. Sherman
- The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers: Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent by Barry J. Jacobs
- The Caregiver’s Essential Handbook: More than 1,200 Tips to Help You Care for and Comfort the Seniors in Your Life by Sandra Choron and Sasha Carr
- Eldercare 911: The Caregiver’s Complete Handbook for Making Decisions by Susan Beerman and Judith Rappaport-Musson
- My Turn: Caring for Aging Parents & Other Elderly Loved Ones: A Daughters Perspective by Sandra W. Haymon
- Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into Confidence by Gail Sheehy
- Coping with Alzheimer’s: A Caregiver’s Emotional Survival Guide by Rose Oliver
- Facing Alzheimer’s: Family Caregivers Speak by Patricia Brown Coughlan
- It Takes More Than Love: A Practical Guide to Taking Care of an Aging Adult by Anita G. Beckerman
- The Home Care Companion’s Quick Tips for Caregivers by Marion Karpinski
- Stages of Senior Care: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Best Decisions by Paula Hogan the 36-hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementing Illnesses, and Memory Loss in Later Life by Nancy L. Mace
- The Moon in the Water: Reflections of an Aging Parent by Kathy J. Phillips
- A Survival Guide for Family Caregivers, Strength, Support and Sources of Help for All Those Caring for Aging or Impaired Family Members by Jo Horne