Finding and sorting through resources, whether based online or out in the community, to find what you need can be so very time consuming and difficult to navigate. And as a caregiver, you probably don’t have the luxury of the time or attention span necessary to really investigate what’s out there. If you’re just getting started, it’s hard to know where to begin. And even if you’ve been a caregiver for a while now, there are always new events and groups coming on the scene that want to reach and help caregivers like you. The good news is that there are many great sources of information and assistance for caregivers right here in the Austin and Central Texas area. Below you’ll find an introductory list of places with some of the help and support you might be looking for.
- The Alzheimer’s Association-Capital of Texas Chapter is a non-profit organization that provides family support, public awareness, and community education, as well as supporting research for the prevention, cure, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. They offer free, recurring monthly Basics of Alzheimer’s classes as well as other seminars on topics related to dementia. Their website also contains listings of local caregiver support groups in addition to a variety of other helpful support, education, and resources.
- AGE of Central Texas hosts a free, monthly caregiver support group that is open to caregivers of seniors with any type of illness, not just those with dementia. Our caregiver support group meets the fourth Wednesday of the month, from noon-1pm in the AGE building. Caregivers are also encouraged to visit, email or call our caregiver resource center for free, individual consultations on issues and resources related to caregiving or aging. AGE also offers periodic educational seminars, classes, and an annual conference that address a variety of caregiver concerns.
- The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has an informative website with lots of useful information including a section specifically devoted to the needs of caregivers.
- Greater Austin CARES is a group of faith-based respite programs for people with dementia and their families. Each program is a ministry of its host organization, and serves both memory-impaired individuals and their caregivers. Respite participants enjoy socially-enriching and fun activities while their caregivers take a break from caregiving responsibilities. Their website provides more details about these respite groups which usually meet once a week for a few hours.
- AGE of Central Texas offers early memory loss support groups for individuals experiencing symptoms of early stage Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. The group meets once a week for four hours and provides a variety of activities and includes a separate, monthly support group meeting just for their caregivers.
- If a family caregiver needs longer periods of respite care so they can work, run errands, or just get a break from the non-stop demands of caregiving, AGE of Central Texas offers M-F daytime care at our adult day health centers in Austin and Round Rock. These licensed centers offer an affordable and safe alternative to hiring full-time, in-home professional caregivers or moving the senior to a residential living facility.
- The Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center website contains a wealth of information for caregivers and has many publications available that you can order for no charge.
- alzheimers.gov is the U.S. government’s website of free information resources for caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
There are also many, many other websites and resources devoted to the needs of caregivers. Instead of spending hours surfing the web, please feel free to contact the staff of AGE of Central Texas for assistance with finding the resources that best fit your needs as a caregiver.