Caregiving involves providing assistance to another individual who is ill, disabled, or elderly and frail. Many times caregiving involves helping someone with physical, emotional, social, and psychological needs.
In the United States, family and friend caregivers provide approximately eighty percent of all care. Caregivers play a vital role in helping seniors maintain their health and independence. As the population ages, so will the demand for caregivers.
Even though caregiving is rewarding, it can have a negative impact on the health and well-being of the caregiver. Caregiving has its greatest impact on the emotional health of caregivers, particularly the caregivers of persons with dementia and stroke, who are at the highest risk for depression and anxiety disorders. The Area Agency on Aging is committed to helping caregivers through educational programs, in-home services, and resource availability.
www.cfad.org – this website can assist those that are caring for a loved one from a distance.
www.caregiver.com – provides information, support, and guidance to caregivers.
www.caregiveraction.org – this website provides information on caregiving.
www.caregiverslibrary.org - this website offers information on caregiving.
www.projectlifesaver.org – global tracking device for those who suffer from memory disorders.
Alabama Cares is a program designed to support family caregivers by providing training, assistance, and resources to help them take care of their aging loved ones and themselves. Alabama Cares strives to keep families together and to allow seniors to age at home instead of in costly long-term care facilities.
The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) was established in 2000 under the Older Americans Act. It provides funds to states and territories based on their share of senior citizens. Alabama created the Alabama Cares Program, which offers support for caregivers across the state by providing services through five basic areas:
- Information: provides public education, caregiver and provider training, health fairs, newsletters, brochures, and audio/visual/written caregiver information
- Assistance: provides outreach, case management, assessment, and information regarding resources.
- Counseling: provides support groups and training to assist and advise in areas of health, nutrition, financial literacy, and the role of caregiving.
- Respite: provides temporary, substitute support of the care recipient to provide a brief period of relief/rest to the caregiver help with personal care, homemaker services, adult day care, and skilled or unskilled services in the home.
- Supplemental Services: incontinent supplies provided through a limited basis.
Alabama Cares is a program for CAREGIVERS. Unlike traditional services our client is NOT the one in need of assistance, our client is the one providing care to the one in need.
Eligibility Requirements for the Alabama Cares Program are as follows:
- Unpaid Primary Caregiver of frail, older adults age 60 or older, or of any age if caring for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.
- Grandparents/relative Caregiver, age 55+, caring for children ages 18 and under or caring for children any age with a severe disability.
For referrals or questions please contact the Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at 205-333-2990 or 1-800-AGE-LINE.
This program is funded in part by the Alabama Department of Senior Services and Title III of the Older Americans Act.
A sliding fee scale is used to determine the client's shared cost of certain services. Cost sharing judgments are made based on the care recipient's income. If the care recipient's income falls below the national poverty level, the client is not expected to pay anything for the services. In any case, contributions (donations) are accepted by the Area Agency on Aging for all programs.
Alabama Cares Grandparent Program
• Grandparent/Relative Caregiver ( age 55 + ) caring for child/children age 18 and younger
• Grandparent/Relative Caregiver ( age 55 + ) caring for child/children with a severe disability
• * Priority* shall be given to grandparents or older individuals who are relative caregivers providing care for children with severe disabilities.
• Child- An individual who is not more than 18 years of age.
• Grandparent or other relative caregiver of a child: a grandparent, step grandparent or other relative of a child by blood or marriage, who is 55 years of age or older and:
* A. Lives with the child
* B. Is the primary caregiver of the child because the biological or adoptive parent/parents are unable or unwilling to serve as the primary caregiver of the child
* C. Has a legal relationship to the child, such as legal custody or guardianship, or is raising the child informally
• This program is not income based - however cost share and donations are accepted.
5 Service Categories:
• A. Caregiver Information- Provide public and individual with information on resources and services available.
• B. Caregiver Access Assistance- Assist grandparents in obtaining access to the service and resources available within their community. This service links individuals to the services and opportunities that are available within their community.
• C. Caregiver Education- Counseling/education to Grandparents to assist them in making decisions and solving problems relating to their grandparent role.
• D. Caregiver Respite- * Grandchild must live with Grandparent/relative caregiver to qualify for this service* Offer temporary, substitute support or living arrangements for child in order to provide a brief period of relief or rest for grandparent caregiver.
• E. Caregiver Supplemental Service- * Grandchild must live with grandparent/relative caregiver to qualify for this service* Services provided on a limited basis to complement the care provided by grandparent/relative.
For referrals or questions please contact the Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at
205-333-2990 or 1-800-AGE-LINE.
Caregiver Support Groups
Support groups are held for caregivers of people with Alzheimer's Disease, other dementias, and any other illness your loved one is facing. These groups provide vital links to other caregivers and an opportunity to learn more about Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses. Members of a support group usually share their personal experiences and offer one another emotional comfort and moral support. They may also offer practical advice and tips to help you cope with your situation.
Current group meetings:
Fayette County – meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 2:00 P.M.
404 25th St. NW
Fayette, AL 35555
Hale County - meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 2:00 P.M.
906 Wheelan St.
Greensboro, AL 36744
Amazing Caregiver Support Group at Bethel Baptist Church
3003 25th St.
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Caring Days Adult Daycare: Mal & Charlotte Moore Building
943 31st St. E.
Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
Contact Vicki Kerr
Meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 2:00 P.M.
The Lantern at Morning Pointe
1801 Rice Mine Rd.
Tuscaloosa, AL 35406
Meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 12:15 P.M. and 5:30 P.M.
First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa
721 Greensboro Ave.
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Meets every Spring & Fall on Wednesdays 10-11:00 A.M.
Tuscaloosa Parkinson's Support Group
Fellowship Hall at First Christian Church
627 Paul Bryant Dr.
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
205-246-9652 or 256-760-7877
Meets 3rd Sunday of each month at 2:00 P.M.
HOPE is a program designed for people with early stage Alzheimer's disease or dementia. It provides resources to individuals and their families dealing with these diseases. If someone is facing memory loss or has been diagnosed with early stage dementia, this program is available to inform them of the resources available to help them deal with the disease and with their future.
Available Services and Resources:
- Information and Assistance
- Cognitive wellness tool kits*
- Financial planning tool kits*
*Tool kits – detailed information about the disease and information about legal issues that need to be addressed while in early stage dementia. Kits include listing of different community resources available.