As National Family Caregiver Month comes to a close, North Dakotans are encouraged to continue to recognize and express gratitude for unpaid family caregivers who make it possible for loved ones who are older or living with a disability or terminal illness to continue living at home.
There are an estimated 68,000 family caregivers in North Dakota, and the state’s Health and Human Services agency wants caregivers to be aware of the Family Caregiver Support Program and other programs and services available to assist them.
“One of the things caregivers say is that they just need a break. We call that respite care,” said HHS Caregiver Support Administrator Mary Weltz. “A caregiver can receive financial help through HHS to pay an approved provider or other family member to stay with their loved one for a few hours. This allows caregivers to get that short break from 24-hour caregiving to take time for their own needs.”
Last year, the Family Caregiver Support Program assisted 790 individuals. Help is available to eligible caregivers regardless of income or assets.
Weltz said, “It is OK to ask for help. Caregivers need to be able to take care of themselves, so they can continue to care for their loved ones.”
To find programs and services that can support both caregivers and older adults and individuals with disabilities who want to remain living at home in the community, contact the Aging and Disability Resource Link toll-free at 855-462-5465, 711 (TTY), email email@example.com, or apply for services online at https://carechoice.nd.assistguide.net/.
The HHS Adult and Aging Services team works with partners to help older adults and adults with physical disabilities live independently at home with support services. They also act to protect the health, safety, welfare and rights of long-term care residents and vulnerable adults living in the community. Learn more at hhs.nd.gov/human-services/adults-and-aging.