Do you have a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? You may hear all the time that you’re not alone. But it can be hard to really believe there is help out there for your specific situation.
If you are in the Louisville area, many resources exist to help you understand what your options are as someone who has a person with cognitive loss in your life.
And don’t worry if you’re not sure whether you qualify as a “real” caregiver. The term applies, whether you're living with the person you’re caring for, or trying to find the right retirement community for an older relative in a different state.
More than 6 million Americans currently have Alzheimer’s, and that figure is expected to more than double in the next few decades.
In Kentucky alone, more than 75,000 seniors have Alzheimer’s. In addition, 12 percent of the general population over the age of 45 experience some form of cognitive decline. As with the national figures, the number of Kentuckians needing some level of memory-care support is projected to increase in the coming years.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia undeniably present unique challenges to those living with them, as well as their families. That’s why, along with the residential and other memory-care services that exist for those with cognitive loss, additional programs have been established to support their caregivers.
National Family Caregiver Support Program
The National Family Caregiver Support Program helps people who serve as caregivers for their loved ones who have Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia or who care for people who are over 60. It provides both services and benefits.
Among the potential resources, NFCSP provides respite care for those inevitable times in which caregivers need a break. There also are training and support group services available, along with counseling. The program can also guide you in finding and accessing other services and can supplement existing services.
The Greater Kentucky & Southern Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association
This Alzheimer’s Association chapter provides resources to 125 counties in the “Kentuckiana” area.
Among its services is a 24/7 helpline, at (800) 272-3900. In addition, the chapter provides support groups for caregivers, professionals, and people with dementia. It also offers various educational programs.
Catholic Charities of Louisville
Catholic Charities of Louisville's Long-Term Care Ombudsman program advocates for residents in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. It's a free service for residents of Jefferson and several other counties and their families.
They can help choose a facility for your loved one, provide information on current legislation, and be an advocate for a Louisville-area resident. (The other counties served by this program are Breckenridge, Bullitt, Grayson, Hardin, Henry, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble, and Washington.)
The number to call for more information is 502-637-9786 and ask for Long-Term Care.
Located at the University of Louisville, Trager Institute works to provide “Friends and Family Resources” help for caregivers of older adults.
Trager Institute’s primary focus is on providing support groups. Its “Caregiver 101” support group provides weekly meetings in various locations, including Zoom options. Caregiver 101 also offers mindfulness sessions for easing stress and workshops on specialized topics.
In addition to Caregiver 101, other support groups offered by Trager Institute include “My Health Matters,” to provide wellness tips and support for overworked caregivers, and support groups for those employed by, or retired from, the university and its health institutions. Call the Caregiver Hotline at (502) 588-3322 to learn more.
Adult Day Care Programs
For people caring for loved ones at home, some days can be long and demanding. Adult care offers relief for friends and family members of people with dementia, as well as stimulating activities for the loved ones themselves.
The Community Resource Finder is a good place to start, as it provides links to the Alzheimer’s Association, AARP, and other community-based organizations that may provide adult daycare. You may also find other nonprofit databases helpful when searching for local adult daycare resources.
Jewish Family and Career Service
Jewish Family and Career Services offers a monthly Caregiver Support Group. The group meets the second Monday of each month. Anyone taking care of a person over the age of 60, or a person over 55 who has been diagnosed with dementia, is invited to attend. JFCS stresses that group members do not have to live with the person they are caring for to join the group.
The Caregiver Support Group is guided by experts in the dementia field and provides educational and problem-solving opportunities. Most importantly, members are able to help support one another, rather than feeling alone.
Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Disorders Council
The Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Council, a Kentucky-based program, brings together key people from the state agencies connected to caring for people with dementia or researching disorders that lead to dementia. These include the medical research community, healthcare professionals, committees on aging, and regional Alzheimer’s Associations.
Among the programs they support is the Department for Aging and Independent Living, which can be reached at (502) 564-6930.
CareGiver to CareGiver
The CareGiver to CareGiver group is a lay-run organization under the auspices of Christ Church United Methodist. It is for any caregiver who cares for a loved one, whether it be a parent, spouse, adult child, sibling, extended family member or friend.
CareGiver to CareGiver provides opportunities to learn about the aging process, stress management, problem solving, self-care, setting boundaries, safety, long-term care, and other issues.
It meets the first Tuesday of each month, from 3-4:30 p.m. and no registration is required. For more information, contact the Rev. Melissa Head, Associate Pastor, at 502-893-2201, ext. 263, for more information.
Whether you’re looking for a retirement community, memory support options, or additional information about resources in the Louisville area, Episcopal Church Home is here to offer support. We proudly serve families and seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia in the Louisville area, offering memory care options for people in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Reach out to us today to learn more.
Editor's Note: This blog was originally published in 2017 and 2021, and has been updated and republished with more current information.