Caring for a loved one with a life-altering illness or injury can be stressful. Here are some resources available to caregivers and family members that may help in your journey.
- The Alzheimer’s Association has a section of their website focused on caregivers and a tool to create a customized Caregiver Action Plan (there are numerous national associations dedicated to different diseases; most offer similar helpful resources).
- Most associations have local chapters that may offer more specific benefits, including education and support programs. The Alzheimer’s Association of Western North Carolina provides support in the Triad area.’
- The North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services has 17 local offices across the state that offer counseling, training, respite services, and limited supplemental care. The Piedmont Triad Regional Council serves our area.
- AARP has a number of articles and videos that address topics like how to handle an angry loved one when they lash out, ensuring safety when driving, etc. They also offer very important tips on taking care of yourself during this stressful time.
- Your loved one may be eligible for Social Security disability insurance if he or she became disabled before normal retirement age. Check into this early as it can take 3-5 months to hear back on an initial application. Supplement Security Income (SSI) may also be available to individuals who have very limited incomes.
- Review insurance options and check to see if your loved one could be eligible for Medicaid services. You may wish to speak with an elder law or estate planning attorney about asset protection planning.
- Many communities offer reduced price medical and dental clinics you may be able to utilize.
- Likewise, if finances are tight, many utility companies offer assistance with utilities.
- Many churches and religious organizations provide support, including counseling and volunteers
Legal Considerations for those with Alzheimer’s and Similar Diseases
If your loved one does not already have advance directives and estate plans in place, this is something that should be addressed as quickly as possible while he or she is still able to make decisions about end-of-life care. We strongly recommend anyone facing a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, dementia, or any similar illness meet with an estate planning attorney and financial adviser to put together a plan. There are many decisions to be made and you should consult with a professional to ensure your loved one is protected.