Family Caregiver Support Program
Families are the major provider of long-term care in America. In 2008, about 20% of adult North Carolinians reported providing care or assistance to a family member or friend with a long-term illness or disability.
In an effort to help family and informal caregivers care for their loved ones at home for as long as possible, The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), established in 2000, provides grants to States and Territories to fund a range of supports that assist these caregivers.
As the State Unit on Aging, the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services administers the State’s Family Caregiver Support Program. Services are provided locally through 16 Area Agencies on Aging.
The NFCSP offers a range of services to support family caregivers. Specific services vary by county but generally include:
- Information to caregivers about available services,
- Assistance to caregivers in gaining access to the services,
- Individual counseling, organization of support groups, and training to assist caregivers in the areas of health, nutrition, and financial literacy, and in making decisions and solving problems about their caregiving roles
- Respite care to enable caregivers to be temporarily relieved from their caregiving responsibilities; and
- Supplemental services, on a limited basis
These services can work in conjunction with other State and Community-Based Services to provide a coordinated set of supports. Studies have shown that these services can reduce caregiver depression, anxiety, and stress and enable them to provide care longer, thereby avoiding or delaying the need for costly institutional care.
FCSP Serves the Caregiver
Eligible family caregivers are:
- A caregiver of any age providing care for an older adult age 60 or older OR providing care for a person with Alzheimer’s Disease or related brain disorder
- A caregiver (who is not the birth or adoptive parent), age 55 or older, raising a related child age 18 and under or an adult with a disability
The Cape Fear Area Agency on Aging provides information and referral, support groups and educational opportunities to caregivers that will hopeful provide skills and resources to sustain them in their everyday caregiving duties. Funds are granted to the lead agency for aging services in Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender Counties for case assistance, support groups coordination, respite on an emergency/temporary basis and supplemental services (for example; incontinent supplies, nutritional supplements, emergency response systems). The services vary in each county, please contact Holly Pilson, Caregiver Resource Specialist for more information.