The mission of the Council on Aging Caregivers Support Program is to locate families with caregiving needs and offer as much assistance and support to their efforts as possible through collaboration and community partnerships.
Caregiving is often a twenty-four hour a day, seven days a week responsibility. It can be physically, emotionally and financially challenging. Our program leaders understand the issues and challenges involved and offer caregivers the opportunity to engage in different forms of support.
Our funding primarily supports the needs of caregivers over the age of 60 and those who provide care for family members who are over the age of 60. This includes grandparents taking care of grandchildren as well as adults taking care of older adults.
Caregiver Support Program
We offer a class that meets for about two hours a week for six weeks that teaches caregivers how to better manage the responsibilities they have. This includes balancing responsibilities, how and where to locate support and assistance for the caregiver, and how to plan for transitions in care needs.
The Council on Aging provides funding for in-home respite care. This service provides aides and companions to stay in the home with the care recipient while the primary caregiver attends to shopping, errands, and other responsibilities.
Funding for this program is limited, and client contributions are welcome. Proceeds from fund raising events throughout the year are allocated to supplement this program.
In addition, transportation is provided to bring care recipients who qualify to the Western and Eastern Senior Centers for daily meals and activities. This provides an opportunity for care recipients to participate in social, recreational, health promotion and disease prevention activities.
Our Caregiver Support Program offers monthly Caregiver Support meetings at the Senior Centers in the early evening. Caregivers are invited to participate in discussion and explore support and respite care options.
Caregivers are invited to bring their care recipients to the meetings; care is provided by staff and volunteers.
Companion sitters typically work for sick or elderly clients who need custodial supervision and possibly care in the home. They provide many services, such as cleaning and meal preparation, that the client can no longer perform herself/himself. Some who are appropriately certified can also provide personal care. In offering this list of private sitters, the Chatham County Council on Aging is not endorsing any of these individuals, nor guaranteeing the quality of their services, nor overseeing their work. These individuals are not employees of the Council on Aging nor are they acting on behalf of the Council. We offer this list merely as information on persons who have indicated that they are available for employment in the home caring for older adults. Before listing an individual, the Council only requires that a State criminal background check has been completed and indicated no prior criminal record.
In considering use of a sitter, we encourage you to:
- Conduct interviews with several potential sitters;
- Ask for references, including other clients who have used their services [these other clients should have given their permission to be contacted];
- In checking with references, ask about the sitter’s reliability (e.g. Do they show up as promised? Do they do what is appropriately asked of them?), trustworthiness, caring attitude, and other traits and areas of performance important to you;
- If you are seeking someone to provide personal care, you may want to double check with the State’s Health Care Personnel Registry at http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dhsr/hcpr/index.html. The Health Care Personnel Registry Section operates under state and federal laws for unlicensed health care workers and their employers. It is designed to list certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and indicate if there are any pending investigations or substantiated findings related to them ; and
- Explore the internet for additional tips on assessing and using a companion sitter or caregiver in the home.
If you are looking for a local caregiver to provide assistance and caregiver relief, please take a look at our Sitters List.
Additional Community Resources for Caregivers
Our Community Partners, including UNC Hospice and the Chatham County Department of Social Services Adult Care Division, participate in the programs and offer their counsel and expertise.
For a comprehensive list of community resources for Caregivers, please view our Chatham County Caregiver Resources Guide.
Throughout our community, many grandparents fill a caregiving role for their grandchildren and other young children. The Intergenerational Caregivers program is designed to reach out to grandparents raising grandchildren and those who provide care for school aged children.
A new collaborative effort, the goal is to provide information about child care, health care, school resources, recreation, mentoring, education and job training to adults caring for children and young adults in our community.
Additional printed resource materials are being developed and will be distributed throughout Chatham County. For a list of service and program providers, please contact the Council on Aging offices at 542-4512. We would like to thank all of our Community Partners who are making a difference in this area of family advocacy.