Alabama Cares: The Better the Caregiver, the Better the Care
The CARES program provides these core services:
- INFORMATION for caregivers and the public on resources and services available within their communities.
- SUPPORT GROUPS establishing a mutual support system for caregivers to discuss their experiences and concerns.
- ASSISTANCE to family caregivers through short-term case management in gaining access to services and resources available to them within their communities.
- RESPITE SERVICES that offer temporary, substitute support to relieve family caregivers from their daily caregiving responsibilities. Due to limited funding, this service is available for family caregivers who have the greatest burden and highest need of relief.
- COUNSELING, family caregiver education and guidance that assist family caregivers in making decisions and solving problems related to their roles as caregivers.
- TRAINING family caregivers with instruction to improve their knowledge and skills related to caregiving.
- SUPPLEMENTAL SERVICES, available on a limited basis, are intended to complement the care family caregivers provide for their loved one.
WHO HAS ACCESS TO THESE SERVICES?
- Primary family caregivers of frail, older adults age 60 or older.
- Older relative caregivers (not parents), including grandparents age 55 or older, caring for children ages 18 and younger with or without disabilities.
- Older relative caregivers and parents, including grandparents age 55 and older, caring for adults age 19 to 59 with disabilities.
ARE SERVICES BASED ON INCOME?
A person’s income will not prevent them from receiving services. However, family caregivers with the greatest social and economic needs are considered when prioritizing appropriateness for direct services.
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 Older Relative 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. Learn more about the Older Relative Caregiver program here.
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).