Family Caregiver Support Program

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​Family Caregiver Support Program Overview

The Maryland Family Caregiver Support Program is administered by the Maryland Department of Aging and is part of a national network of caregiver programs funded by the federal Administration for Community Living. The program helps family and informal caregivers care for their loved ones at home for as long as possible. Family caregivers are the major source of unpaid help for older and disabled adults living in communities across the state. These caregivers typically include spouses, adult children, relatives, and friends.

Available Services

Maryland's Family Caregiver Support Program works in conjunction with a host of State and community-based services to create a coordinated array of supports for individuals who need them. Studies show that these services can reduce caregiver depression, anxiety, and stress and enable them to provide care longer, thereby avoiding or delaying the need for costly institutional care.
The program offers five types of Caregiver Services:​
 

Information

 

Information and Assistance

A service that provides the individuals with current information on opportunities and services available to the individuals within their communities.

Assistance with accessing services

 

​Information Services

  • ​A public and media activity that conveys information to caregivers about available services, including in-person interactive presentations, booth/exhibits, or radio, TV, or Web site events.
  • This service is not tailored to the needs of the individual.


Counseling, education and the establishment of support groups

 

​Counseling

  • ​A service designed to support caregivers and assist them in decision- making and problem solving.
  • Provided by a qualified counselor
  • Includes counseling to individuals or group sessions

Case Management

  • A service provided to a caregiver, at the direction of the caregiver by an individual who is trained or experienced in the case management skills that are required to deliver services and coordination.

Training

  • A service that provides caregivers with instruction to improve knowledge and performance of specific skills relating to caregiving.
  • Skills may include activities related to health, nutrition, and financial management; providing personal care; and communicating with health care providers and other family members.

Support Groups

  • ​A service led by an individual who meets state/territory policy requirements to facilitate caregiver discussion of their experiences and concerns and develop a mutual support system.
  • For the purposes of Title III-E funding, caregiver support groups would not include “caregiver education groups,” “peer-to-peer support groups,” or other groups primarily which teach skills  or meet without a qualified facilitator.


Respite

 

Respite

A service which offers temporary, substitute supports or living arrangements for care recipients. It provides a brief period of relief or rest for caregivers.

Supplemental Services

 

Supplemental services on a limited basis

  • ​Goods and services provided on a limited basis to complement the care provided by caregivers. 
  • A category of service that describes the state-defined service, which does not fall into the previously defined service categories. 

​Service Domains

  • ​Assistive Technology/Durable Equipment/Emergency Response 
  • Consumable Supplies
  • Home Modifications/Repairs
  • Legal and/or Financial Consultation
  • Homemaker/Chore/Personal Care
  • Transportation
  •  Nutrition Services
  • Other

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The family caregivers who are eligible to receive services include:

  • Adult family members or other informal caregivers age 18 and older providing care to individuals 60 years of age and older;
  • Adult family members or other informal caregivers age 18 and older providing care to individuals of any age with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders;
  • Grandparents and other relatives (not parents) 55 years of age and older providing care to children under the age of 18; and
  • Grandparents and other relatives (not parents) 55 years of age and older providing care to adults age 18-59 with disabilities.

Caregivers of Older Adults and Older Relative Caregivers Defined:​​​

Caregivers of Older Adults and Older Relative Caregivers

 

  • ​​An adult family member, or another individual 
  • Informal provider of in-home and community care
  • Older individual
  • Individual with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder

Older Relative Caregivers

 

  • ​​Caregiver who is age 55 or older
  • Provides support to a child under 18 and is not a parent
  • Provides support to an adult ages 18-59 with disability (may be a parent)

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Additional Resources

​​​​National Family Caregivers Month

November is National Family Caregivers Month. As stated by the Caregiving Action Network, “Caregiving can be a 24-hours a day/7-days a week job. Caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s or a child with special needs can be non-stop. Providing care around the clock can crowd out other important areas of life. And you never know when you will need to rush to the hospital or leave work at the drop of a hat. Caregivers truly provide around the clock support for their care recipients.​

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