Family Caregiver


December 2020



This electronic newsletter is provided by

Dallas Area Agency on Aging and North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging

  • Social Isolation During COVID-19: Articles, Recorded Webinars, Research, Resources
  • New feature - Caregiver to Caregiver: A family caregiver's story
  • Featured article: Improving Communication, Part 2
  • Virtual education opportunities
  • Medicare Open Enrollment
  • COVID Corner Information and Resources
  • We welcome you to submit articles and blogs or make suggestions for future editions

Coping with Caregiver Social Isolation

Family Caregivers and the parents, spouses, or other family members they care for may be experiencing even more social isolation during the COVID-19 crisis. Caregiver mental, emotional, and physical health is being affected. Loneliness and depression are not uncommon.

“Social isolation is a common but unfortunate condition for many family caregivers. Research has shown that social support helps us withstand a wide range of adversities. Whether that means talking out our troubles with confidantes or receiving casseroles from kind friends or neighbors, we generally feel better when we know that others care for us. But the longer family caregivers provide help to loved ones, the less social support they usually receive.” - AARP Stay Connected to Friends While Caregiving

This e-newsletter edition will focus on ways to reduce and cope with social isolation to support your mental, emotional, and physical health during this unprecedented time. Find articles, free recorded webinars, ways to find support groups, resources, and research. We hope that this information helps you cope with the stresses of caregiving and social isolation in particular.

-Zanda Hilger, Editor

Read More


Training and Events

Virtual Webinars and Teleconferences

Emergency Housing Relief Programs

Thursday, December 3, 2020

10:00 a.m.


Caregiver Teleconnection: Caregiving and the Holidays

Monday, December 14, 2020

Noon- 1:00 p.m.


December Calendar - COVID, Dementia, Grief, Dementia, Safe Use of Medications, and more

Alzheimer's Association Community Resource Finder

Details click on Alzheimer's Association

James L West Dementia Center Education

North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging

Caregiver Navigation


Evidence-Based Education Schedule: Chronic Pain, Chronic Disease, Diabetes Self Management programs



NEW Feature:

Caregiver to Caregiver -Family Caregiver's Profiles

Will you share you caregiver journey and be featured here. You can stay anonymous, by your initials, or name

Click here to learn more - email


December, 2020

Caregiver Profile: Susan Rheingruber

How did you become the caregiver for your loved one? My wife has been diagnosed with young onset Alzheimer’s 

Has your relationship changed with the loved one that you are caring for? If so how? We have more disagreements. 

What is the hardest thing about being a caregiver and the most rewarding thing?Patience and when she’s comfortable. 

What advice would you give to other caregivers? Really listen. 

In ten words or less, what has caregiving taught you? Patience

Describe a situation where being a Fearless Caregiver helped you succeed? When we take long walks and can just be in the moment. 

Used with permission from


What to Read - elder care books, e-books, audiobooks, and other publications

We are excited to present you our new logo and redesigned website, providing more content than ever before: Resource Directory, Events, Education, FAQs, Articles, and a COVID Corner - Check it out and let us know what you think and suggestions to make it even better. Email


Are you connected? Facebook North Texas Caregivers Dallas Caregivers

Twitter @CaregiversTX or @DallasCaregiver

11/30/2020 posting


COVID Corner

Updated Information on our website

Local, state, and federal Coronavirus information and resources


“If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.” ― Amy Tan


Services and Resources

Senior Rides Program

for Older Adults in Hood or Somervell County


Do you or someone you know need help getting to medical appointments in other counties?

With its new Senior Rides Program, the North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging may be able to help help for getting to medical appointments in other counties.

The Senior Rides Program pays Transit System fares for people who live in Hood or Somervell County, are at least 60 years old, ·have medical appointments out of county and have difficulty paying fares

Please allow at least one week’s advance notice before the first trip. For more information, call Lavinia Roy at 1-800-272-3921, extension 7430, or Doni Green at 817-695-9193.

The Senior Rides Program is funded through December 31, 2020

Call 2-1-1 to see if a similar program may be available in your area.


PEARLS Program Helps Older Residents Deal with Pandemic's Emotional Effects


As COVID-19 has required sheltering in place and social distancing, it has also increased the number of people who are experiencing loneliness, isolation and sadness. To assist with the emotional effects of the pandemic, a free resource is available to local residents, age 60 and over, to help them develop plans for doing things they enjoy in the midst of the pandemic.

Services are for these counties: Collin, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, and Wise counties.

If you do not live in one of these counties, please call 2-1-1 and ask about similar services in your community.


Wishing you and yours a peaceful, safe, and healthy holiday


Medicare Open Enrollment

October 15 - December 7, 2020

1-800-MEDICARE or 

Medicare frequently asked questions

Call your local area agency on aging or 2-1-1 to speak to a Benefits Counselor for more information


Medicare Part D Focus

The Part D donut hole, also called the coverage gap, is now closed for both generic and brand drugs. Call a Benefits Counselor for details at your local area agency on aging or call 211. Visit Medicare Part D Focus


Medicare Preventive Services &

Prescription Drugs

New Medicare preventive services available to help address prediabetes, anxiety, and depression. The services are designed to help detect illness at an early stage or prevent it altogether. Frequently Asked Questions

For some Medicare enrollees, Medicare prescription drug costs can be reduced. And for some, opportunities for changing plans are different in 2020. Details

For help, talk to a Benefits Counselor.

Call 2-1-1 or your local area agency on aging


Rural Dementia Caregiver Project

You may be eligible to be part of the Rural Dementia Caregiver Project. If you are eligible, you will receive: ·access to a 6-week online workshop—any time, day or night · Workbook to keep—on skills and resources for caregivers Support from trained staff and other caregivers. 

For more information and to see if you are eligible, go to For other questions, call 1-833-636-0603


Texas Health & Human Services

Disability Services

Information and Services for people who are limited in one or more major life activities – hearing, seeing, thinking or memory, walking or moving, taking care of personal needs such as the activities of daily living like bathing, dressing feeding oneself, transferring from a bed to a chair, or other independent living abilities.

Blind and Visually Impaired

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Mental Health and Substance Abuse


North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging

serving adults age 60 and older and their family caregivers who live in Collin, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, and Wise counties.

Call 800-272-3921

Aging & Disability Center (ADRC) 

Resource Centers of

North Central Texas

1- 800-272-3921

Tarrant County



Dallas Area Agency on Aging or DAAA

Dallas Area Agency on Aging helps adults age 60 and older to find help that they need. The organization also helps family caregivers.

If you have questions about Medicare, Medicaid, & Social Security & you live in Dallas County & are 60+ years of age or have Medicare

Go to this link for information on the virtual session ZOOM Virtual Benefits Counseling “MEDICARE” Training, October 7-8, 2020

Call 214-871-5065 to speak to a Benefits Counselor for an appointment

Area agencies on aging, often referred to as AAAs, are located across the US, provide services & resources to adults age 60 & older & their family caregivers. Providing information, education, & services helps individuals meet basic needs, make informed decisions, & live as independently as possible. Dallas Area Agency on Aging, North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging & Area Agency on Aging of Tarrant County United Way serve the North Central Texas area. At the bottom of this e-newsletter find links to these agencies. For the area agency on aging for your area, visit this link.


Advance Directives

Advance directives are legal documents that communicate your legal and financial decisions to family, friends and health care professionals.

State of Texas Advance Directives

information and forms

The Conversation Project - dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. Conversation Starter kit, Proxy kit, Alzheimer's kit, Talk to your doctor


Games & Puzzles

help keep an older adult's mind active & challenged (as well as stress relief for caregivers)

Click here to link to puzzles provided by AARP

Senior Discounts

Follow the link to the AARP page with information about senior discounts, including ones that work and ones to avoid. Click here


Are you connected to our social media?

Weekly Facebook and Twitter postings about hot topics, education announcements, research, & other valuable caregiver information


"Like" us on Facebook at

North Texas Caregivers

counties surrounding the DFW Metroplex

Dallas Caregiver Resources

Dallas County


"Follow" us on Twitter.

Dallas Caregiver

Dallas County


counties surrounding the DFW Metroplex


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This electronic newsletter is one of a variety of free online services, including the website, Facebook postings, Twitter messages, and Caregiver Teleconection. These resources are for family members and others who are helping older adults remain as healthy and independent as possible.

Family Caregiver Education and Support


Call 2-1-1 or link to

2-1-1 Texas, a program of Texas Health and Human Services, is committed to helping Texas citizens connect with the services they need.


This free online service is funded, in part by

Area Agency on Aging of North Central Texas

Dallas Area Agency on Aging

Texas Health and Human Services

Link to these organizations by visiting

This e-newsletter edited by

Zanda Hilger, M.Ed.