Alabama Cares: The Better the Caregiver, the Better the Care
Alabama Cares provides services that inform, educate and assist caregivers in tending to the personal needs of their aged or frail loved ones. The program is designed to help families keep their loved ones at home for as long as possible, thereby preventing premature nursing home placement. It was established as part of the National Family Caregiver Support Program and offers five specific types of services.
- Information Services – Helpful information on relevant resources within the community such as available literature, health fairs and other special events or educational opportunities
- Caregiver Access Assistance – A service from a trained Alabama Cares Coordinator to help caregivers assess needs and available support services
- Caregiver Education or Counseling – Support provided to caregivers to assist them in making decisions and solving problems relating to their caregiver roles through individual counseling, support groups or caregiver training, including topics such as health, nutrition and financial literacy
- Caregiver Respite – Providing temporary substitutes for primary and family-member caregivers in order to offer them a brief period of relief from their caregiving responsibilities, including personal care, light housework and adult daycare
- Caregivers Supplemental Services – Providing services such as meals, assistive technologies, emergency response systems, incontinence supplies and nutritional supplements, on a limited basis, for primary and family-member caregivers
You May Be Eligible for Help
To qualify for Alabama Cares, an individual must be an unpaid primary caregiver for a frail adult age 60 or older, who needs help with at least three activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, walking, toileting, taking medications, cooking and household chores. An individual may qualify as an unpaid primary family caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or a dementia-related diagnosis, regardless of the care recipient’s age.
Priority is given to those caring for people with the greatest social and economic need, as well as to family caregivers providing care and support to persons with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. There is no income limit, but voluntary contributions to help cover the cost of services are welcomed.
Alabama Cares also recognizes a special group of caregivers age 55 and older who are the primary caregivers of related children. A limited amount of funds is available for senior caregivers caring for a child/children age 18 or younger, as well as children of any age who have a mental or developmental disability that results in a functional limitation of three or more major life activities. In these cases, the caregiver must live with the child and have a legal relationship with the child.
Monthly Support Groups
Alabama Cares offers two distinct support groups for caregivers as well as for older relatives (other than the parents) who serve as primary caregivers for children. The purpose is to openly and confidentially discuss any issues related to your responsibilities and get helpful feedback from others in similar situations, which may help you be more effective while maintaining a positive outlook. Learn more about these support groups by clicking here.
For more information on the services of Alabama Cares, call 1-800-AGE-LINE (1-800-243-5463).