Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA) receives calls regularly from family members who are struggling to care for their loved ones. Finding local resources that can help and knowing where to start is stressful. SSA works to connect individuals to the support they need for the people they are caring for and for themselves. The good news is that there are many local resources for caregivers and for those who need extra help. Making that first call is hard, but understanding that it is OK to get assistance is a huge first step in the journey of being a caregiver.
According to a report from the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, more support is needed for those serving as caregivers. The profile of the average family caregiver is a 49-year-old woman taking care of a relative. Today’s caregivers are as diverse as the American population. Caregiving creates not only emotional strain but financial strain.
“As previous AARP research has shown, we're facing a caregiving cliff," said Dr. Susan Reinhard, senior vice president and director, AARP Public Policy Institute & Chief Strategist, Center to Champion Nursing in America. “We need to provide support for existing caregivers who are underserved by the current long-term services and support systems.” *
Senior Services of Alexandria’s March 18 Speaker Series, “Caregivers: Find Support,” will feature local experts talking about the various programs and services available in the City of Alexandria for caregivers and those who are receiving care. There will be speakers from AARP, talking about its “Prepare to Care” program; Capital Caring Hospice; and the City of Alexandria’s Division of Aging and Adult Services, explaining their support systems including the Adult Day Center program. There will also be a representative from BCAT, an organization that provides testing designed to improve cognitive skills and protect memory for patients and provide support for their families. This includes using Memory Exercise Books to help people with dementia reconnect with past memories.
The event takes place on Saturday, March 18 at Immanuel Church on the Hill, 3606 Seminary Road in Alexandria from 10 a.m. to noon. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. To register online go to seniorservicesalex.org or call 703-836-4414, ext. 110.
*Caregiving in the United States 2015; National Alliance for Caregiving, Public Policy Institute, June 4, 2015.