Services are available to informal (unpaid) family caregivers who are caring for someone age 60 years or older, or caring for an adult with a condition that occurred after the age of 18 (dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, etc.). Services are offered at no cost. For complete access to all services, the family caregiver must register through a Family Consultant.
Family Consultation consists of a meeting in person or over the phone with one of the Family Consultants to discuss the care-giving situation. Family Consultants can provide support related to the following:
- Information regarding the diagnosis of a loved one
- Behavior management techniques when a loved one has a cognitive impairment
- Information about how to be a more effective caregiver and other local resources
- A listening ear from someone who understands
Family Consultants are trained and experienced professionals who can share with the family about available services and who help the family develop a strategy for managing their loved one’s care. After the first meeting, the family caregiver may contact their Family Consultant whenever they have a question or a concern regarding their care-giving situation.
Specialized information is available on topics related to specific conditions and diseases, care options, legal issues, stress reduction, and care-giving issues. Resources are available through our lending library of books and videos, or through printed fact sheets (listed on our Resources page). For more information, contact us at (530) 595-5925 or MCRC@csuchico.edu.
The most valuable support a family caregiver can receive is from a peer — someone who has been through what they are going through and can truly understand what it is like to care for a loved one. Family caregiver support groups meet once a month and are facilitated by trained staff. Caregivers learn strategies and skills to solve problems; maintain their own personal, physical and emotional health; and to provide the best care they can for those who are dependent upon them. Support Groups provide a supportive atmosphere to share experiences and ideas as a way to ease the stress of care-giving. Visit our Support Groups page for a current list of groups.
Respite is designed to provide care for a brief period of time so the caregiver has the opportunity to attend support groups and classes. This service may be provided in the individual’s home, or in an out-of-home setting such as a day care center or assisted living facility. Respite services alleviate the stress of providing constant care to a loved one and can reduce the likelihood of early out-of-home placement. This service is offered on a limited basis and is dependent upon available funding.
Classes are provided on a variety of topics including communicating with someone who has dementia, finding solutions to basic care-giving problems, skills for day-to-day care, planning for future legal and financial needs, locating available resources, caring for yourself as a caregiver, coping with emotional issues, and communicating with family members and medical professionals. For a description of classes and dates of upcoming events, please visit our Passages Events page.
Caregivers often experience symptoms of depression, anger, or sadness. The causes may be physical, emotional, or a result of a stressful situation. Short term counseling can help with care-giving concerns such as loss, grief, unresolved relationship issues, role changes, anger, frustration, resentment, and conflict feelings. This service is offered on a limited basis and is dependent upon available funding.
Short term counseling is a brief problem-solving therapy for a maximum of 6 one-hour sessions. Together with a trained professional, goals are established which may:
- decrease the symptoms of depression
- improve coping skills,
- increase use of support systems
- decrease feelings of isolation
Legal presentations are provided at events throughout the year and information sheets regarding legal issues can be provided through the family consultant. Topics include: planning for eligibility for public assistance programs, understanding Advance Healthcare Directives and Powers of Attorney, estate and financial planning, conservatorship, and other related matters. This service is offered on a limited basis and is dependent upon available funding.
Supplemental Services intended to help make caring for a loved one in the home a little easier and safer. Please note that our ability to provide the following services depends on available funding.
- Assistive Devices: The purchase, rental, and/or service fee of equipment to facilitate and fulfill care-giving responsibilities.
- Minor Home Repairs: Minor repairs to a home ranging from installation of grab bars to replacement of door handles in order to fulfill care-giving responsibilities