November is National Family Caregivers Appreciation Month—a time to recognize those who provide essential support for their loved ones.
Chances are, you probably know at least one caregiver. A 2018 review of Bureau of Labor statistics by Pew Research found that 15% of adults were providing care for another adult—on average devoting nearly 80 minutes daily to providing assistance.
That same study found that 47% of those caregivers found the experience very meaningful—more so than housework, career, or leisure.
The story behind these numbers is one of commitment and compassion, and we see those dynamics daily at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES). As a non-profit focused on helping older adults Age in Place, we worked with more than 450 caregivers last year, providing support and helping them access helpful resources. We are honored to help these families provide the care their loved ones need, at home. Thank you for all that you do!
Lastly, I would like to highlight some of the programs SCES offers to support family caregivers:
Adult Family Care helps people receive the care they need from friends and family, by providing training, compensation, and ongoing support for live-in caregivers. Available with no out-of-pocket costs for eligible households, AFC provides caregivers with a monthly stipend, two weeks paid respite annually, and ongoing support from our team of nurses and social workers.
Adult Family Care is free for MassHealth-eligible adults who cannot live alone due to a medical diagnosis across the Greater Boston, North Shore, and Merrimack Valley areas.
Family Caregiver Support offers caregivers information about services, provides educational programs, and short-term individual or family consultation. This program is free and open to all residents of Cambridge and Somerville and non-resident caregivers.
Savvy Caregiver is a training program that provides family caregivers with skills and knowledge about dementia. Participants receive an overview of dementia, plus support developing strategies for challenges they are facing. This program is free and open to non-professional caregivers of individuals diagnosed with dementia, who are residents of Cambridge, Somerville, and surrounding communities.
The SCES Aging Information Center provides free advice and guidance on questions of aging, caregiving, and disability. Our Elder Care Advisers can provide more information about SCES Caregiver support programs, and about other resources in the community.
Nathan Lamb is Director of Outreach and Community Relations for Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) a non-profit agency that supports the independence and well-being of older adults in Somerville and Cambridge. For free advice and guidance on questions of aging, caregiving or disability, contact our Aging Information Center at 617-628-2601, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website eldercare.org.