By Alison Wood, Contributing Writer
If you care for an older adult, it can sometimes seem difficult to access the information or practical help you require. Maybe you need advice about a housing issue, you might have a finance question, or you might need support around a particular healthcare need.
Luckily, there are many organizations that specialize in helping the elderly — and by default, those who care for them as well. Read on to learn more about seven resources that can help!
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
Perhaps one of the best-known organizations for seniors, the American Association of Retired Persons — better known by its acronym, AARP — offers a wealth of free advice for older adults via its website. The association is non-profit and offers membership benefits for any adult over the age of 50. However, you don’t need to be a member to access its online information. It’s also worth keeping up to date with its social media accounts, as AARP regularly shares condensed news updates of interest to seniors. You can visit the AARP website by clicking HERE.
Meals on Wheels America
The mission of this organization is to prevent hunger and isolation of older adults. With more than 5,000 independently run local programs, Meals on Wheels is available in almost every community across America. If you know an older adult who struggles to cook hot meals and who would benefit from a friendly visit and nutritious food, then check out the Meals on Wheels website by clicking HERE for more information.
National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC)
As its mission states, the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) “conducts research, does policy analysis, develops national best-practice programs, and works to increase public awareness of family caregiving issues.” The NAC recognizes that family caregivers are vital for the support of many older adults and provides some key resources on its website. You can check out their resources page by clicking HERE.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
For health-related information, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) offers a wide variety of resources on its website. All the topics are focused on being most helpful to older adults and the whole website is also available in Spanish. The mission of the NIA is “a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life.” You can therefore rely on the science-based information the NIA provides. You can find out more by clicking HERE.
Pets for the Elderly
We all know that pets can offer a great deal of support and companionship to older adults, but sometimes it can be difficult to cover the costs involved. The Pets for the Elderly Foundation is a charitable organization that helps pay the costs of adoption from participating shelters. It’s available to adults over 60 who are looking to adopt a cat or dog. This two-pronged approach helps older adults bring a pet into their lives, while supporting shelters with its rehoming programs. You can find out more by clicking HERE.
If you are caring for an older adult with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association offers a broad range of information helpful to you on its website. Some key areas that can help caregivers include information on daily care needs, stages and behaviors of the disease, and safety issues. They also offer advice on staying healthy as a caregiver, including the impact it might have on your relationship, minimizing stress, and dealing with bereavement. You can find more information by clicking HERE.
Care & Comfort at Home’s Family Support Center
Here at Care & Comfort at Home, we also offer information for caregivers in the form of our online Family Support Center. Via the online center, family members can access an excellent source of free information designed specifically for caregivers of the elderly. You’ll find videos, articles, and online courses where you can learn about subjects as diverse as first aid, nutrition, and reducing stress, as well as a wide range of other topics related to family caregiving. You can find out more by clicking HERE.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of the organizations available for help, so it’s always worth searching online to find information specific to your situation. In your local community, there are often senior service agencies available to you as well. Those are always a great place to start. If they don’t have the information you need, they can almost always point you in the right direction.
The important thing to remember is that as a caregiver you are not alone. There are organizations that can help, and reaching out for their support is always worthwhile.