Caregiver Support Program

Caregiving can be a daunting and stressful job. Being aware of available services and resources is key to providing the best care possible for a loved one. The Howard County Office on Aging and Independence's Family Caregiver Support Program and other local resources offer help and guidance to empower families and caregivers serving older persons and adults with disabilities.

Caregiver Program Information

Education

Quarterly Education

The Caregiver Program hosts an educational session on various caregiving topics, along with a light meal on the 4th Tuesday in the months of March, June, September from 6:00-7:30pm.  Respite care is available. Please call Kathy Wehr at 410-313-5955 for registration.

Next Education Sessions:

Tuesday, September 27th at Glenwood Community Center

Topic presented by NAMI on Caring for loved ones with Mental Health Challenges

Tuesday, November 15th at Ellicott City 50+ Center, "Caring for Someone with Parkinson's"


Powerful Tools for Caregivers 

Powerful Tools for Caregivers (PTC) is an evidence-based course designed with the caregiver’s well-being in mind.  PTC is based on the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program developed at Stanford University’s Patient Education Research Center.

In the six week course (90 minutes per class) caregivers develop a wealth of self-care tools to: reduce personal stress; change negative self-talk; communicate more effectively in challenging caregiving situations; manage their emotions; and make tough caregiving decisions. Participating caregivers have cited the program improves self-care behaviors in terms of relaxation, exercise and their own physical and mental well-being, management of emotions, increased confidence (both inside and outside their caregiving demands), and that their ability to seek out and utilize community resources is greatly improved.  

If you or someone you know is a caregiver, we hope you will tell them about this amazing training.  Our goal is to improve the lives of caregivers as well as the care recipients through outreach, conversation, training, and resources.  

Please call Kathy Wehr, Caregiver Program Support Manager at 410-313-5955 with any questions about the course or to register.  The cost of the course is $30.00 which pays for all course materials.  

The dates for the first course are consecutive Tuesdays beginning Tuesday May 16th thru Tuesday June 21st from 6:00pm-7:30pm at the Ellicott City 50+ Center.   

Next class will be held on 6 consecutive Thursdays from September 8th to October 13th from 3:00pm-4:30pm at the North Laurel Community Center.


“Caring Conversations”

Prepare to Care
The Howard County Office on Aging and Independence offers a workshop for family members entitled “Prepare to Care: Families sharing decisions in creating a long term plan”. The workshop is available several times a year to empower families about health, legal, financial, and end of life options.  “Prepare to Care” offers icebreakers to begin the conversation and then moves into the options available.  During the workshop one can learn about ways to assess one’s needs, how to design a plan, and what services are available.  In addition the workshop covers options available for aging in place, as well as alternate placements, and the possible costs involved financially and emotionally.   “Prepare to Care” offers families and seniors the opportunity to start having the conversation and will share decisions in creating a long term plan.  If interested in attending this workshop or to learn more about these topics, please call Maryland Access Point of Howard County at 410-313-1234.  See attached flyer for up-coming workshop

The “Other” Talk
The Howard County Office on Aging and Independence offers a workshop for seniors entitled’ The Other Talk:  Starting the Conversation and Offering Resources about health, legal, financial and end-of life concerns”   The workshop is available several times a year to help seniors start these conversations with their family members around these important topics and to share their preferences and wishes for future needs so family members will be more knowledgeable about their loved ones personal decisions and can help carryout those wishes.    If interested in attending this workshop or to learn more about these topics, please call Maryland Access Point of Howard County at 410-313-1234.  See attached flyer for up-coming workshop.

“Communication is Key” (Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiving)
This conversation focuses on the signs and stages of dementia: validating the caregiver and the care recipient’s feelings and emotions; how to leave your expectations at the door; and respecting the dignity of your loved one, as well as yourself.


Events

5th Annual Caregiver Conference

Saturday, March 25, 2017
Gary J. Arthur Community Center

Details to follow on our events page.


Newsletters

Next edition of the newsletter will be published in the summer of 2016.

Day Programs in Howard County

Senior Center Plus

Senior Center Plus provides a four-hour program for adults interested in structured activities and opportunities for socialization in an interactive, safe, and secure environment.  The program is designed to promote the continued independence of the community-based adult through specialized therapeutic programs and activities.  For more information on Senior Center Plus, please visit their website.  


Kindred Spirits
The Kindred Spirits Social Club provides a place for people diagnosed with an early stage memory disorder to interact with other people walking the same journey.  

Participants in Kindred Spirits Social Club are required to: 
• Be screened prior to their first meeting to ensure their ability to benefit from the Social Club  
• Have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or a related memory disorder
• Have been told of their diagnosis and acknowledge their memory loss
• Understand the purpose of the Social Club
• Express interest and willingness to participate
• Be able and willing to discuss feelings and experiences related to their illness in a group setting
• Have no other medical conditions or serious mental illness which might put him/her or others in the Club at risk
• Sign a copy of the guidelines for the Social Club participation

For more information on Kindred Spirits, please visit their website.


Caregiver Support Grant Information

Although there are many support services available for older adults and their caregivers, a primary goal of the Family Caregiver Support Program is to provide individual caregiver support. The Federal Government, through the Older Americans Act, provides each state with funding for the Family Caregiver Support Program.  The Office on Aging and Independence is authorized to distribute these funds to caregivers for services such as respite care, personal care, or purchase of needed items. To find out if you are eligible, please call Maryland Access Point at 410-313-1234 (voice/relay).


The Federal Government provides guidelines to qualify for this funding; they include serving caregivers who provide assistance to individuals: 


Those Eligible:

• Adult family members or other informal caregivers age 18 or older providing care to persons over 60.
• Adult family members or other informal caregivers over age 18 providing care to those with Dementia related disorders.
• Grandparents and other relatives (not parents) 55 years or older providing care to children 18 years or younger.
• Grandparents and other relatives (not parents) 55 years and older providing care to adults age 18-59 with disabilities.

Local Support Groups

Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group
Bain Senior Center
5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia
410-313-7218
2nd Thursday of each month
7:00-9:00pm

Caregiver Support Group
East Columbia Senior Center
6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia
410-313-7466
3rd Monday of each month
7:00-8:30pm

Caregiver Support Group/Chronic Conditions
HCGH/Medical Pavilion Bldg. 
10710 Charter Drive, Columbia
410-740-5858
Contact for registration is Dianne Tollick
1st Tuesday of each month at 3:30pm

Parkinson’s Disease Support Group for
  Caregivers and their Care Partners
Vantage House Life Care – Retirement Community – Arts and Crafts Room
5400 Vantage House Road, Columbia, MD  
Contact: Lynada Johnson – 410-992-1120
2nd Tuesday of each month – 10:00am

Community Support Group for Caregivers 
Somerford Place – Alzheimer’s and Dementia Assisted Living
8820 Snowden River Pkwy., Columbia
410-313-9744 -  Contact Judy Beyer
2nd Wednesday of each month from 10:30am-12:00pm

Community Support Group for Caregivers 
Somerford Place – Alzheimer’s and Dementia Assisted Living
8820 Snowden River Pkwy., Columbia
410-313-9744 -  Contact Judy Beyer
2nd Wednesday of each month from 10:30am-12:00pm

Korean Caregiver Support Group
Bain 50+ Center
5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia
410-313-6538
Contact is MJ Engle
2nd Tuesday of each month at 10:30am-12:00pm

NAMI Caregiver Family Support Group
Harmony Hall 
6336 Cedar Lane, Columbia
Call 410-772-9300 for registration
2nd Tuesday of each month
7:30pm-9:00pm

NAMI Caregiver Family Support Group
Celebration Church 
6080 Foreland Garth, Columbia
Call 410-772-9300 for registration
3rd Friday of each month
7:30-9:00pm

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Support Group
Bethany United Methodist Church
2875 Bethany Lane, Ellicott City
410-465-8985
2nd Saturday of each month at 10:00am

Caregiver-Related Websites

Updated May 2016

There are many websites for caregivers. Below is a sampling of several that a caregiver might find helpful. Howard County Government does not support or endorse any of the listed websites. It also apologizes if the links to sites are not active once the caregiver tries to reach the location. The Office on Aging and Independence makes every effort to provide current data.


AARP Caregiving:  www.aarp.org/family/caregiving 
AgingCare.com:  www.agingcare.com  
Alzheimer and Dementia Caregiver Center: www.alz.org/care 
Ask Medicare:  www.medicare.gov/caregivers
Benefits Checkup:  www.benefitscheckup.org This site will help you determine if you or a care recipient are eligible for public benefit programs   
Bigger Conversations: www.biggerconversations.org/community-programs  Caregiver Wellness Circle
Cancer Care:  www.cancercare.org
Caregiver.com: www.caregiver.com 
Caregiver Action Network:  www.caregiveraction.org
Caregiving Café:  www.caregivingcafe.com 
Caregiver Stress: www.caregiverstress.com 
Caring From A Distance: www.cfad.org
eCare Diary: www.ecarediary.com
Eldercare Locator:  www.eldercare.gov
Family Caregiver Alliance:  www.caregiver.org
Hospice Foundation of America:  www.hospicefoundation.org     
Lotsa Helping Hands:  www.lotsahelpinghands.com
Medicare:  www.medicare.gov
National Adult Day Services Association:  www.nadsa.org
National Alliance for Caregiving:  www.caregiving.org
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging:  www.n4a.org
National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers:  www.caremanager.org
National Center on Elder Abuse:  www.ncea.aoa.gov/
National Family Caregivers Association:  www.caregiveraction.org
National Multiple Sclerosis Society:  www.nationalmssociety.org/living-with-multiple-sclerosis/relationships/carepartners/index.aspx 
NeedMeds:  www.needymeds.org/index.htm A site with information about assistance for paying for prescriptions medication     
Parkinson’s disease Foundation: www.pdf.org/caregiving_fam_issues 
Patient Advocate Foundation:  www.patientadvocate.org/index.php provides assistance to patients with chronic, debilitating or life-threatening diseases on issues of job retention, medical debt crisis or insurance access.  Assistance takes the form of mediation and arbitration services.  PAF does not offer financial assistance.  If you need help with co-pays, call their Co-Pay Relief Program at 1-866-512-3861.  A case manager can also take the patient's details and look for companies that offer help getting the meds that he or she needs. - See more at: http://www.caregivingcafe.com/top-20-websites-for-caregivers/#sthash.nz2Z2eK4.dpuf 
Respite Locator:  www.respitelocator.org
Social Security Administration: www.ssa.gov
Thriving in the Middle: www.thrivinginthemiddle.com
Veterans Administration: www.caregiver.va.gov 
Well Spouse Foundation:  www.wellspouse.org