Providing Support to Family Caregivers
Over 44 million Americans provide 37 billion hours of unpaid informal care each year for adult family members and friends with chronic illnesses or conditions that prevent them from handling daily activities such as bathing, managing medications or preparing meals on their own.
If this statistics includes you, you are a family caregiver!
Although you may not think of yourself as a family caregiver, it simply means you provide care and support for individuals who are unable to fully take care of their own needs.
Our Family Caregiver Support Program and community partners can help provide much needed support, information, or a well-deserved break from the stress of providing daily care. While funding is limited to provide payment for caregiving services, these resources can assist you through your caregiving journey.
- Local Family Caregiver Support Specialists
- Respite Services
- Powerful Tools for Caregivers
- Caregiver Support Groups
- Bookend Caregiving/Youth Caregivers
- Project CARE (Caregivers Running on Empty) Specifically for caregivers of persons living with dementia
- Working Caregivers
- FAQ's About the Family Caregiver Support Program
Local Family Caregiver Support Specialists
In addition to our staff, our local family caregiver support program specialists are available to assist you with services and support. In our area, contact:
William Riggsbee, 919.742.3975
covering Chatham County, NC
Nyia Carrington, Interim 919. 688. 8247, ext. 104
covering Durham County, NC
Alveda Person, 910. 947.4186
covering Moore County, NC
Kendall Kopchick, 919.968-2087
covering Orange County, NC
Lisa Hoskins, 919.460.0567
covering Wake County, NC
Support for Caregivers
Powerful Tools for Caregivers Course
This course gives you the skills to take care of yourself while caring for someone else. By taking care of your own health and well-being, you become a better caregiver.
Find a Class: Contact your local FCSP Specialist OR Visit the Powerful Tools for Caregivers website
Caregiver Support Groups
- General family caregiver support groups in our area are on the NC 2-1-1 list of support groups.
- An online support group for family caregivers or for caregivers identifying as LGBTQ.
- Support groups for caregivers of those living with dementia can be found at the Duke Dementia Family Support Program, Dementia Alliance of NC, and the Eastern Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.
- An online support group for caregivers of those living with dementia provided by the Alzheimer's Association.
Project C.A.R.E. (Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty) is the only state funded, dementia specific support program for individuals who directly care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. Services include counseling, care consultation, caregiver education and respite on a limited basis. In our region, the Duke Dementia Family Support Program serves as the Project CARE site.
Duke Family Support Program's Project Care Coordinators
Project CARE webpage
98,676 grandparents in North Carolina are responsible for their grandchildren who live with them.
There can be many reasons grandparents have to step back into the role of parent, but the surge in misuse of opioids is one contributing factor. Grandparents may find this new role challenging and there can be many legal and daily life issues presented to grand-families.
As of 2005, there was an estimated 1.3 to 1.4 million youth considered “youth caregivers” – people between the age of 8 and 18 who provide care for a family member in or near the young person’s home. A subset of youth caregivers are also in a reciprocal care situation with an older adult, often a grandparent. Termed "bookend caregiving", the older adult provides a home and stability in the absence of parents, and in turn the young person assists with daily care and activities or with medications.
Learn more on the Bookend Caregiving website.
Balancing employment and the need to care for your family member can be overwhelming. Strategies and options include working with can employer's Human Resources Department to see what supports might be available to you. Some companies offer a combination of sick, vacation or leave time that can be used if you need to focus on caregiving. Others might provide assistance through the Family Medical Leave Act. Still others may have a counselor through an employee assistance program or trained caregiver specialist to help you in locating resources.
There are a variety of respite options available to caregivers in our area including adult day services or day health programs, and short-term overnight respite care.
Answer: No. Unfortunately North Carolina’s Family Caregiver Support Program does not have sufficient funding to offer pay for family care, although it is provided in certain other states. If the care receiver is receiving home care paid for by Medicaid (not Medicare), the family caregiver can sometimes (rarely) be hired to provide the Medicaid care. Such arrangements are made by your county DSS Adult Medicaid Office.
- A person age 18+ providing unpaid care for an older adult age 60+ OR providing care for a person of any age with Alzheimer’s Disease or a related brain disorder;
- A relative caregiver (who is not the birth or adoptive parent), age 55+, living with and raising a relative child age 18 or under;
- A relative or parent, age 55+, living with and raising an adult child (age 18-59) with a disability.
In addition, for the caregiver to qualify for respite care or supplemental services, their care receiver must EITHER have Alzheimer’s Disease or a related dementia, AND/OR be unable to carry out activities unaided in two (2) from the following list: bathing, dressing, walking, transfers, eating, or toileting.