If You're a Family Caregiver, You Need to Know About These Grants

Being a caregiver for a loved one is one of the trickiest things a person can do. Not only are you constantly on call to provide care, but you also have to watch a person you love deal with medical problems. Luckily, there is some help available for people in this tough spot. Though caregiving grants aren't widely advertised, they can be extremely useful. Knowing the right place to look can provide you with life-changing assistance.

Wisconsin Sisters Share Their Story of Receiving a Caregiving Grant

A recent story featured by AARP showcased the many benefits of caregiving grants. Cassandra Brooklyn and Samantha Ruiz of Wisconsin had spent six years providing nonstop care for their mother. Since their mother was diagnosed with dementia and Parkinson's disease, the sisters had been assisting their mother without a break. Without other family members or extra money, the sisters found it impossible to take time off from caregiving.

Cassandra and Samantha were both deeply dedicated to caring for their mother who they describe as, "the strongest, most dedicated, and supportive mother any child could have." However, they were also dealing with caregiver burnout, a mental condition that shares some traits with depression and anxiety disorders.

Fortunately, at free workshops run by the Wisconsin Parkinson's Association and Alzheimer's Association, the two women learned about the Respite Care Association of Wisconsin. This helpful organization provides funds for respite caregivers. Cassandra and Samantha were able to apply for a total of $5,000 in grants from multiple associations which paid for trained, medical professionals to come and watch their mother.

This gave them time to spend with their own children, and they also had a little free time to take a trip to Madeira together. On this rejuvenating trip, both women were able to take a break, relax, and strengthen their friendship without having to stress about healthcare. Ultimately, caregiving grants provided Cassandra and Samantha with a much-needed vacation and gave them the ability to tackle their caregiving tasks with renewed strength.

Caregiving Grants Provide a Variety of Helpful Services

This story is just one of the many useful purposes for caregiving grants. Many caregivers who apply for grants use respite care to do things like travel, visit a loved one's wedding, or attend a nearby concert.

However, while the ability to unwind and relax is certainly valuable, it's not the only use for caregiving grants. Some grants help to pay for families to send their loved ones to day programs. This ensures the ill person gets proper care during the day while family members go to work. Other grants can be used for night nurses who visit the home and keep an eye on the ill person while family members sleep.

Other grants focus on improving the quality of life for caregivers and their ill family members. Some grants are essentially a form of payment for family caregivers. They give you funds to compensate you for your care and help you pay for food and a place to live. You can also find grants that cover home modifications. These can help to make the house safer for people with mobility issues, dementia, or other dangerous conditions.

How to Find Caregiving Grants

There is a surprisingly large amount of help available for caregivers, but knowing where to find it can be hard. Since family caregiving is such an informal situation, there's no federal program that provides nationwide assistance. Instead, caregivers will have to take the time to look up applicable grant programs in their region. Especially if you're burnt out or very busy, even finding grants can be tough.

However, the good news is that there are a lot of helpful resources to assist you with the grant process. Large organizations like AARP or ARCH offer family caregiver guides that can discuss grant options. You can also check with healthcare providers, local support groups, and your state government. They can often point you in the right direction, so you can find groups that offer caregiver grants.

Ultimately, caregiver grants are a valuable form of support for families dealing with traumatic medical issues. The wide range of public and private grant options does mean that it can take some time to find all organizations you should apply to. However, if you can find the time to do so, you can get help with things like respite caregivers, financial assistance, or home upgrades.

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