Dementia Support for Seniors & Caregivers: Top Agencies & Organizations

Article Summary

This article provides an overview of the various support agencies and organizations available to family caregivers of people with dementia.

Key takeaways:

  1. The Alzheimer's Association provides a 24-hour helpline, support groups, and an online community for family caregivers.
  2. The Caregiver Action Network provides educational resources and an online community for family caregivers.
  3. Area Agencies on Aging provide services and support for older adults aging in place, including family caregivers.

How can support agencies and organizations help family caregivers?

Different nonprofit organizations and government agencies may provide support to family caregivers whose loved ones have dementia. Every agency or organization offers its own set of resources to caregivers, based on their goals and objectives. Groups may provide educational materials, support groups and more. Resources may be available online or in person.

Large Caregiver Support Organization

Your city or state may have resources that cater to family caregivers of people with dementia in your local area. The following groups offer support to family caregivers on a national scale:

  • Alzheimer’s Association. This nonprofit has a 24-hour helpline (800-272-3900) that offers support to caregivers who may need technical assistance or emotional support when caring for a loved one with dementia. Local chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association, which can be found in states across the country, may have caregiver support groups for people nearby. If you’d prefer to find an online support group, the Alzheimer’s Association hostsALZConnected, an internet-based community resource for family caregivers. Local chapters may also offer educational resources, as well as a community of family caregivers in your area who may be interested in volunteering, fundraising, participating in events or becoming friends with other family caregivers of people with dementia who can relate to their circumstances.
  • Caregiver Action Network. This nonprofit organization provides educational resources and support for family caregivers, as well as anonline community where people can seek advice or post their thoughts in a forum. This organization’s mission isn’t specific to caregivers of people with dementia, but many of the Caregiver Action Network’s educational resources and online forums are focused on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • Area Agencies on Aging. Located in different cities, counties and states around the country, nonprofit Area Agencies on Aging help to provide services and support for older adults who are aging in place. With funding provided by theNational Family Caregiver Support Program, Area Agencies on Aging may provide family caregivers with educational information and training, respite care, access to local support groups and assistance locating different services that your loved one may need while remaining at home. Because the agencies are in your community, the resources that they offer are local.
  • National Institute on Aging. This government agency is part of the National Institutes of Health. It’s a resource for educational materials about Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, caregiving (including advice about self-care), hospice care, palliative care and other topics that are important to family caregivers. You can sign up foremail newsletters with advice and information about caregiving, dementia and more.
  • National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. This is a membership organization for people who work in the hospice and palliative care industries, but theirCaringInfo program is an excellent resource for family caregivers. CaringInfo provides educational information about end-of-life services and care options, to help you make informed decisions. The free resources are supported in part by the nonprofitNational Hospice Foundation, an affiliate of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. If you’re seeking hospice care for your loved one, the organization’sFind a Care Provider tool can help you locate hospice organizations in your area.

How much do caregiver support organizations cost?

There are no fees associated with any of the above-mentioned agencies or organizations. However, if a local organization, or a local chapter of a nonprofit organization, hosts an event or in-person support group, there may be a nominal fee to participate, particularly if the event is a fundraiser. Check with individual groups about specific events or activities for more information.

It is possible to make charitable donations to nonprofit organizations whose missions you support, but this is not a requirement to benefit from a nonprofit’s services or educational materials.

How do I find support agencies and organizations in my area?

Use the Alzheimer’s Associationsearch engine to find a local chapter. You can also find online support through ALZConnected.

TheCaregiver Action Network doesn’t have local chapters, but you can connect with other family caregivers whose loved ones have dementia through the online forums.

To find your local Area Agency on Aging, visit theEldercare Locator search engine (from the U.S. Administration on Aging) and input your zip code. You should find contact information for state, county and/or local Agencies on Aging, which should point you toward resources to help you provide support to your loved one while they remain at home.

TheNational Institute on Aging is a government agency that supports research and provides educational information. It doesn’t have local branches around the country, and it doesn’t host or sponsor events or meetings for family caregivers, but you can refer to their website for a variety of educational materials.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization doesn’t have local chapters offering support to caregivers, but itsCaringInfo program is available online, and its onlineFind a Care Provider tool allows you to look for hospice care locally.

Author Bio

Lisa Fields is a passionate healthcare writer and advocate for better senior care in America. This article has been reviewed by Dr. Logan DuBose, a Resident Physician in Internal Medicine at George Washington University Hospital and co-founder of Olera.

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