The National Family Caregiver Support Program: Help for Family Caregivers

Family caregiver walking in nature with older adult relative

Are you a caregiver who currently cares for a loved one at home? If your answer is yes, then you most likely know that in-home care is an intensely gratifying and rewarding experience. However, you also probably know only too well how overwhelming, demanding, and stressful caring for a family member can be.

However, many programs exist that can help, and that’s in part due to important funding and grants, provided by the National Family Caregiver Support Program. Read on to learn more about the National Family Caregiver Support Program and how it helps caregivers.

The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP)

The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) funds various services that help family and informal caregivers — just like you — care for older adults in their homes.  It also provides caregivers with information on accessing government support and where to go for more help.

Types of services 

The receivers of NFCSP grants provide five types of services for caregivers:

  • Information to caregivers about available services
  • Assistance to caregivers in gaining access to the services
  • Individual counseling, organization of support groups, and caregiver training
  • Respite care
  • Supplemental services, on a limited basis

According to the Administration for Community Living, these services help reduce the depression, anxiety, and stress from which caregivers often suffer.  They also enable caregivers to provide care longer for their loved ones, which helps to avoid — or at least delay — the need for institutional care outside of the home.

Who is eligible for these services?

According to the 2016 Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, these specific populations of caregivers are eligible to receive services:

  • Adult family members or other informal caregivers age 18 and older, providing care to individuals 60 years of age and older
  • Adult family members or other informal caregivers age 18 and older, providing care to individuals of any age with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders
  • Older relatives (but not parents) age 55 and older, providing care to children under the age of 18; and
  • Older relatives, including parents, age 55 and older, providing care to adults ages 18-59 with disabilities

Family caregivers can present their unique needs and preferences for the types of programs and services they wish to receive at any given point in time.

How the NFCSP helps

According to the Administration for Community Living, as of 2014, more than 700,000 caregivers have received services through the assistance of the NFCSP. The support they received has helped them to better manage caregiving responsibilities while keeping their loved ones at home for as long as possible.

Such services include:

  • Access Assistance Services. These services connect caregivers with a variety of private and volunteer agencies that can provide extra help.
  • Counseling and Training Services.  Caregivers received support through counseling, peer support groups, and training, all designed to help them cope with the stresses of caregiving.
  • Respite Care Services. According to the Administration for Community Living, more than 604,000 caregivers have received through nearly 6 million hours of temporary relief from caregiving responsibilities—at home or in an adult day care or institutional setting

If you find yourself in need of respite care, you’ll want to also read our article: What Is Respite Care? You can do so by clicking HERE.

And, if you live in the Chicago or Denver area, you can also receive a FREE consultation regarding respite care by contacting Care & Comfort at Home. You can do so by clicking HERE.

Learn more about NFCSP and additional caregiver resources

To learn more about the National Family Caregiver Support Program and the help they provide, you can visit their website by clicking HERE.

Information courtesy of the Administration for Community Living.