How to Begin Finding Help

Knowing the challenges associated with caregiving, will hopefully help you realize that there are times when you just can’t go it alone. As a caregiver, you may need to take a break, or perhaps your situation has changed and you are no longer able to care for someone on your own. The following are idea on where to begin finding help from family, friends, and in your local community.

Publicly Funded Services

To find out about what services are available you should call your Aging Resource Center or Area Agency on Aging. Your Aging Resource Center can put you in contact with community based services. The Area Agencies on Aging, advocates, plans, coordinates, develops and delivers services to seniors (60 years and older). Services include:

It is important to understand that funding for community-based services come from various sources. You may be able to purchase services privately, or qualify for a scholarship. It is important to check with the sponsoring organization, if you may have difficulty paying for service privately. Some services are paid for through a variety of federal and state funding sources including Older Americans Act, Community Care for the Elderly, and Medicaid Waiver. These programs are usually coordinated through the Area Agency on Aging.

Each funding source has times when funds are available to add new clients and times when funding is limited. If funds are unavailable, you may ask to be placed on a waiting list. These lists are not usually based on a "first come, first served" basis.

Waiting lists are usually based on the need of the care receiver. Even if there is a waiting list for services, your care receiver may qualify sooner because his or her needs are greater than those of another person who applied at an earlier time.

If you are unaware of how to contact your Aging Resource Center or Area Agency on Aging, there number can be found through the Eldercare Locator by calling toll-free at 1-800-677-1116 weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (ET) Many areas now also provide information and referral services by dialing 211 on your telephone.

Types of services

Here is a list of services you may need to access as a caregiver:


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College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida