Many of us help provide care and support for individuals who are unable to fully take care of their own needs. We may not think of ourselves as informal or "family caregivers". However, there are almost 44 million Americans providing 37 billion hours of unpaid, "informal" care each year for adult family members and friends with chronic illnesses or conditions that prevent them from handling daily activities such as bathing, managing medications or preparing meals on their own. And yes, family caregivers sometimes need help and support in order to continue providing care.
Our Family Caregiver Support Program and related community partnerships can help provide much needed support, information, or just a well-deserved break from the stress of providing daily care. Unfortunately, our funding is limited and we cannot provide payment for your caregiving services, but we hope these resources can be helpful to you during your caregiving journey.
Local Family Caregiver Support Specialists
Powerful Tools for Caregivers
Caregiver Support Groups
Bookend Caregiving/Youth Caregivers
Project CARE (Caregivers Running on Empty) Specifically for caregivers of persons living with dementia
FAQ's About the Family Caregiver Support Program
In addition to our staff, our local family caregiver support program specialists are available to assist you with services and support. In our area, contact:
Susan Hardy, 919.542.4512
covering Chatham County, NC
Michael Patterson , 919. 688. 8247, x. 122
covering Durham County, NC
Yarona Thomas, 910. 947.4186
covering Moore County, NC
Annie Deaver, 919.245.4276
covering Orange County, NC
(position vacant), 919.460.0567
covering Wake County, NC
Respite services can provide you with a much needed break from your caregiving responsibilities by temporarily providing supervision or care to your loved one. There are a variety of respite options available to caregivers in our area. Adult Day Services is one respite option and can provide care for your loved one in a supervised, group setting. Some programs also include the services of a nurse to handle medical needs and one program in Wake County is able to provide overnight respite care on a short term basis. Financial assistance may also be available to assist with the cost of adult day services, if you are unable to afford this care. To locate an adult day care or day health program, view the list of certified centers in NC.
For more information about respite resources in North Carolina, visit the NC Lifespan Respite Coalition webpage.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers gives you the skills to take care of yourself while caring for someone else. By taking care of your own health and well-being, you become a better caregiver. Six class sessions held once a week are led by experienced class leaders. Class participants are given "The Caregiver Helpbook" to accompany the class and provide additional caregiver resources. Many of our local service partners periodically offer this evidence-based skills enhancement program.
To find a class, contact the local FCSP Specialist in your county or visit the Powerful Tools for Caregivers website for class schedules nation-wide.
Support groups for caregivers of those living with dementia can be found at the Duke Dementia Family Support Program , Dementia Alliance of NC , and the Eastern Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.
An online support group for caregivers of those living with dementia is provided by the Alzheimer's Association.
According to AARP, 98,676 grandparents in North Carolina are householders responsible for their grandchildren who live with them. Of these:
▪ 36,897 (37.4%) do not have parents present in the home
▪ 62,875 (63.7%) are under age 60
▪ 57,331 (58.1%) are in the workforce
▪ 24,570 (24.9%) are in poverty
▪ 27,298 (27.7%) have a disability
▪ 30,491 (30.9%) are unmarried
There can be many reasons grandparents have to step back into the role of parent, but the surge in misuse of opioids is one contributing factor. Grandparents may find this new role challenging and there can be many legal and daily life issues presented to grandfamilies. If you are a grandparent raising one or more grandchildren, there may be services that can assist you. Contact one of our local Family Caregiver Support Specialists to inquire about services or visit the national Grandfamilies website to learn more.
A 2005 national study conducted by the National Alliance of Caregiving estimated between 1.3 to 1.4 million youth fall within the category of “youth caregiver” – people between the age of 8 and 18 who provide care for a family member in or near the young person’s home. It is believed that today’s numbers of youth caregivers could be as much as six times the 2005 estimate. A subset of youth caregivers are also in a reciprocal care situation with an older adult, often a grandparent. Termed "bookend caregving", the older adult provides a home and stability in the absence of parents, and in turn the young person assists with daily care and activities or with medications. The phenomenon of youth caregiving is largely unexplored and under-recognized. To that end, the Bookend Caregiving Program aims to bring this issue into the open and to build an alliance of like-minded partners to assist youth caregivers in our local communities with needed tools and support. Triangle J AAA is a committed partner in this effort and serves in an advisory capacity.
To learn more, visit the Bookend Caregiving website.
Project C.A.R.E. (Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty) is the only state funded, dementia specific support program for individuals who directly care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. Services include counseling, care consultation, caregiver education and respite on a limited basis. In our 7-county region, the Duke Dementia Family Support Program serves as the Project CARE site.
To contact the Duke Family Support Program's Project Care Coordinators, call 919.660.7510 or toll-free at 800.646.2028
To learn more about Project CARE in North Carolina or to locate a coordinator in other parts of NC, please visit the Project CARE webpage.
If your employment and the need to care for your family member are becoming overwhelming, check with your employer's Human Resources Department to see what supports might be available to you. After all, it is in a company's best interests to have you able to focus on your work. Some companies offer a combination of sick, vacation or leave time that can be used if you need to focus on caregiving. Others might provide assistance through the Family Medical Leave Act. Still others may have a counselor through an employee assistance program or trained caregiver specialist to help you in locating resources. Services such as adult day care can also help by caring for your loved one while you work. It is important that you find strategies to help you balance your job and your caregiving responsibilities.
Can I get paid for caring for my relative by the Family Caregiver Support Program?
No. Unfortunately North Carolina’s Family Caregiver Support Program does not have sufficient funding to offer pay for family care, although it is provided in certain other states. If the care receiver is receiving home care paid for by Medicaid (not Medicare), the family caregiver can sometimes (rarely) be hired to provide the Medicaid care. Such arrangements are made by your county DSS Adult Medicaid Office.
Who is eligible for Family Caregiver Support Program funded services?
- A person age 18+ providing unpaid care for an older adult age 60+ OR providing care for a person of any age with Alzheimer’s Disease or a related brain disorder;
- A relative caregiver (who is not the birth or adoptive parent), age 55+, living with and raising a relative child age 18 or under;
- A relative or parent, age 55+, living with and raising an adult child (age 18-59) with a disability.
In addition, for the caregiver to qualify for respite care or supplemental services, their care receiver must EITHER have Alzheimer’s Disease or a related dementia, AND/OR be unable to carry out activities unaided in two (2) from the following list: bathing, dressing, walking, transfers, eating, or toileting.