Increased Support for Caregivers - National Family Caregivers Month
Every November, during National Family Caregiver Month, the Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging/NY Connects recognizes the tireless work of caregivers that is often overlooked. Members of our community attempt to manage work, family and other aspects of their own lives as they also provide care for a loved one. Quite often this happens with no outside assistance and as a result, caregivers are going it alone.
As a caregiver, an individual faces an increased risk of depression and other negative health factors. This risk is increased when the caregiver is functioning with no formal or informal support system. Through various support and educational services available, the Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging and NY Connects aim to help relieve some of the caregiver burden faced by those in our community.
The Department of the Aging / NY Connects was recently awarded a 5-year grant through the NYS Department of Health which has allowed the department to increase caregiver services through an initiative called WNYACP - Western New York Alzheimer's Caregiver Partnership. The grant allows for assistance with education, support groups, counseling, classes, respite services, social day care, and home care.
Several months ago, the department was able to help relieve caregiver burden for a gentleman who is caring for his wife who has dementia. The gentleman and his wife were able to access services at the Linwood Center, a social model adult daycare program, where she has begun to attend. As a result of his wife attending, the gentleman was able to continue participating in a weekly bowling league and has expressed how thankful he is to have the help and time for himself. It is important for caregivers to be able to have the time to care for themselves, including enjoying social activities.
If you know of any caregivers in your life, take a moment to acknowledge their hard work and ask how you can help. If you would like to learn more about the services available to assist caregivers, please contact the Department of Aging / NY Connects at (716) 373-8032 or 1-800-462-2901.