Today, individuals and their caregivers face complicated choices and decisions about long-term care. Families are the major provider of long-term care, but research has shown that caregiving exacts a heavy emotional, physical and financial toll. Many caregivers who work and provide care experience conflicts between these responsibilities. Caregiver Services are key supports that assist caregivers to care for their loved ones at home for as long as possible. The South Dakota Caregiver Program is supported in part a result of The National Family Caregiver Support Program, created in 2000 through an amendment to the Older Americans Act.
As of the 2006 Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, the following specific populations of family 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;
- Grandparents and other relatives (not parents) 55 years of age and older providing care to children under the age of 18; and
- Grandparents and other relatives (not parents) 55 years of age and older providing care to adults age 18-59 with disabilities.
Who is a Caregiver?
A caregiver is a family member or another individual who is an informal (unpaid) provider of care to an individual in need of care. There are many reasons why a family member or friend may need help with completing activities of daily living. As a caregiver you help care for a family member or friend who has a chronic health condition, or an individual who is physically disabled or has Alzheimer's or a related condition.
Services available through the Caregiver Program include:
- Information about available long term services and supports
- Assistance in accessing needed services
- Individual counseling and training
- Respite Care to provide caregivers with temporary relief from caregiving
- Supplemental services on a limited basis for the care provided by the caregiver