Caring for an elderly parent or a sick spouse or relative should not be a one-way street. Use the resource list below as a starting point to get help and information.
By Times Staff
Published August 31, 2004
The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas Inc. serves seniors and caregivers in Pasco and Pinellas counties. The AAAPP is one of 11 Area Agencies on Aging in Florida, with more than 600 nationwide.
For information, call the Senior Helpline in Pinellas at 727 217-8111;or the Senior Helpline in Pasco and for all of Florida at toll-free 1-800-861-8111. The 800 number connects you with the Helpline that serves the area from which you are calling. Visit the Web site at www.elderaffairs.org AAAPP also publishes the Caregiver Handbook, which is available free of charge by calling the Helpline.
The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast is a center of excellence in end of life care and caregiving. If you need immediate information about hospice services in Pinellas County or about caregiving in the last years of life, call 727-586-4432; 24 hours a day, seven days a week; or send email to email@example.com
Neighborly Care Network provides many services for seniors and caregivers, such as Adult Day Services and a Respite Program.
The Adult Day centers in Pinellas and Manatee counties help seniors socialize and enjoy activities as well as receive professional care.
The Respite Program gives caregivers a five-hour break and is designed for persons with Alzheimer's disease or other types of memory loss.
For information about these and other programs, call (727) 573-9444.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50 and older. Three offices serve Floridians: one in St. Petersburg, one in Miami and a state legislative office in Tallahassee. For information, call toll free 1-866-595-7678; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org AARP offers three one-hour online seminars to help adult children care for their parents. Log on to www.aarp.org and do a Search for Caregivers.
The Caregivers' Survival Handbook: How to Care For Your Aging Parents Without Losing Yourself by Alexis Abramson with Mary Anne Dunkin should be required reading for anyone with an aging parent. It is full of smart, sensitive and expertly written information that can be used now or later.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Caring for Aging Parents by Linda Colvin Rhodes, Ed.D. (This book is part of the Complete Idiot's series on how to understand almost anything. If you can get past the title, it has good information.)
The Caregiver's Support Kit is available to caregivers at no charge from the National Caregivers Foundation by calling toll free 1-800-930-1357. This book focuses on Alzheimer's but has good information for any caregiver. It comes with extras that include an audiotape of music and a medication minder pillbox.
How to Care for Aging Parents (A Complete Guide) by Virginia Morris and Robert Butler, Workman Publishing, is a comprehensive resource guide with special tips in boxes, information on topics from "getting set" (preparing for caregiving) to "in the end."
The Comfort of Home: An Illustrated Step-by-StepGuide for Caregivers by Maria M. Meyer with Paula Derr, R.N., Care Trust Publications is a practical book with big print and drawings that depict caregiving situations and assistant devices (how to arrange furniture to accommodate a wheelchair, how to transfer from bed to wheelchair with and without a transfer belt).
Caring for Yourself While Caring for Your Aging Parents: How to Help, How to Survive by Claire Berman, Henry Holt and Co. Inc. addresses emotional needs and stresses of caregivers, adult/child and sibling emotions, long distance caregiving and the rewards of caregiving.
The State of Florida Department of Elder Affairs, www.floridaelderresource.com provides access to a statewide resource database of service providers. Users select a county and a keyword and the search will list the name, address and kind of service provided in that area.
Family Caregiver Alliance, www.caregiver.org tries to improve the quality of life for caregivers through education, services, research and advocacy. Call toll free 1-800-445-8106.
The Well Spouse Foundation, www.wellspouse.org has a list of support groups for spouses. Call toll-free 1-800-838-0879.
Children of Aging Parents National Self-Help Clearinghouse, www.caps4caregivers.org keeps a list of support groups for caregivers. Call toll-free 1-800-227-7294.
Eldercare Online, www.ec-online.net Search for "Family Dynamics." This Web site also includes a glossary of eldercare terminology.
Eldercare Locator, www.eldercare.gov connects those who need assistance with state and local agencies on aging and community organizations that serve older adults and their caregivers.
The American Self-Help Clearinghouse, www.selfhelpgroups.org has a database of more than 1,100 online support groups for mental health, parenting and caregiver concerns.