There’s assistance available for area caregivers
Are you someone who is always willing to help others? Do you do things like help manage medication, assist with daily tasks, or even just worry about the health of a family member, neighbor or friend?
You’re most likely a caregiver. You may think, “I’m just a spouse” or “I’m just a good friend,” but what you are doing is caring for a loved one. While it’s often an honor, it can also be very stressful and intense. What’s the good news? There are things that can help.
ANY CARE COUNTS – New York is a partnership between the State Office for the Aging, Aging-NY, and ARCHANGELS that is offering an online tool, at no cost to you, that can give you your Caregiver Intensity Score. Along with your score, the tool reveals the top two things most causing your intensity to go up – things like having no time for yourself or managing health insurance for your loved one. You’ll also discover what may be helping you feel better – things like support from family and feeling a sense of purpose – and can connect to resources (many free) available through the state of New York to lower your Intensity Score.
In addition to resources from NY State, there are many local resources to help people caring for someone and many local services to help the person you are caring for which in turn may relieve your burden. Contact our NY Connects helpline at 716-753-4582. The operators who answer this line Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30 are specially trained to guide you to local programs and services based on your needs and those of the person you are caring for. We present you with all the available options so you and the person you are caring for can make the choice that fits your situation. You can call just for information or if you decide you want a service, we can assist with getting that started so you don’t have to make another call. If there is a cost for a service, that is also discussed before any referrals are made and there is no obligation to accept a service if you change your mind later. Any information you share will remain confidential unless you state otherwise.
Caregiving is not any easy task but first you have to recognize that ANY CARE COUNTS! Use the QR code below to get your own personal Intensity Score (just open the camera on your phone and hover over it for a few seconds, then follow the link to the website). It’s quick, confidential, and is a first step toward feeling less alone and connecting to support.
What’s your Score? Link: https://archangelscii.me/3XQKxnY. This project is funded in part by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
For more information about anything in this article, call the Office for Aging Services & NY Connects at 716-753-4582 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can call after hours and leave a message. All calls are returned within 1-2 business days.
Dr. Mary Ann Spanos is Chautauqua County Director of the Office of Aging Services.