Counseling, Support Groups, and Telephone Support

Date:

September 4, 2021
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Comprehensive counseling sessions for those caring for a person with dementia helps reduce depression. Counseling appeared to be effective in improving the quality of life for caregivers of stroke survivors. However, even a simple one-to-one telephone call may be effective in helping the caregiver!

One study found an unexpected reduction in burden and distress for caregivers receiving friendly, socially supportive phone calls that provided some respite from caregiving, even without in-home caregiver skills training. Home visits and enhanced social support also can help reduce caregiver depression. 

Some research suggests interventions aimed at individual caregivers were more effective in improving caregiver well-being than group interventions, although group interventions were more effective in improving care-recipient symptoms. Reasons for this are unclear. The effectiveness of caregiver interventions lasts approximately seven months. 

Where can a Caregiver find support? 

These suggestions are at no cost to you, except for counseling co-pays through an insurance company

Counseling

  • Call your local area agency on aging or ADRC by calling 211
  • If you are working, use your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) benefits. This is confidential, and no employer knows anything about your health care providers, including counselors.
  • Check your health insurance benefits by phone or online to find a therapist. All insurance policies have mental health benefits.
  • Consider counseling for your care receiver.

Attend a support group

  • FamilyCaregiversOnline support group listings.
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • Churches in your vicinity – many have a senior ministry 
  • Start one yourself with help from the Alzheimer’s Association or ask for help from one of the  coordinators of other groups.

Telephone

  • Attend a Free Caregiver Teleconnection call
  • Call your local area agency on aging or ADRC by calling 211
  • Call someone else who is a caregiver and suggest regular calls
  • Take the initiative to call a family member or friend and ask if they will at least check on you once a week and maybe give you even 10 minutes or more of their time to just talk to you. Don’t give up and keep checking until you find someone.
  • Check Alzheimer’s Association listing or call their 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900
Edited by Zanda Hilger and includes information from the research article: Supporting Family Caregivers in Providing Care

We hope this information is helpful to you in the important work you do as a family caregiver.
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