(Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty)
Within the next ten years, as the first wave of baby boomers reaches the age of greatest risk from Alzheimer’s disease, the number of people affected by dementia will increase dramatically. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death for people of all ages and the fifth leading cause for adults over age 65. In North Carolina, over 170,000 older adults currently have Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. By 2030, this number is projected to rise to over 288,000.
Most care for people with dementia is provided in the home by family members or friends. This type of care is constant and allows few opportunities for rest or time to meet the other demands of “normal” life such as work, family, and personal health concerns. Too often, the long term result is the depletion of financial resources along with the deterioration of the caregiver’s health and well-being.
Project C.A.R.E. (“Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty”) can assist caregivers of people with dementia by providing a Family Consultant to help resolve caregiving issues. The Family Consultant can also connect caregivers with community resources and arrange funding (currently very limited) to help pay for temporary relief, known as “respite” care. Project C.A.R.E. helps reduce caregiver stress and exhaustion so that people with dementia can remain at home for as long as possible.
- A Family Consultant with expertise in dementia care who provides in-home needs assessment, counseling, information, and help making care decisions.
- Assistance for caregivers in finding and selecting the type of respite and support services that best meets their needs.
- Funding assistance when available for those who qualify for support of in-home personal care, adult day services, group respite and/or overnight residential respite care for eligible families.
- Training and educational resources for family caregivers, respite care providers and community organizations.
- Linkage to local Area Agencies on Aging for additional family support services.
- Linkage to the State Alzheimer’s Association Chapters to access a wide variety of programs, services and educational resources for people affected by Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementias.
Eligibility—Basic Requirements Include:
- Confirmation of Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia (memory loss and confusion) by caregiver, physician or healthcare provider.
- Residence of the person with dementia must be in one of the 29 counties served by Northeastern NC Project C.A.R.E.: Northampton, Hertford, Gates, Currituck, Camden, Pasquotank, Chowan, Washington, Tyrrell, Dare, Hyde, Halifax, Bertie, Nash, Edgecombe, Martin, Wilson, Pitt, Beaufort, Wayne, Greene, Lenoir, Carven, Pamlico, Jones, Duplin, Onslow, Carteret, and Onslow Counties.
- Caregivers receiving services through the Medicaid Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults (CAP/DA) are eligible for all benefits of Project C.A.R.E., excluding additional respite funding. Caregivers may receive respite funds through Project C.A.R.E. while on the waiting list for CAP/DA services.
- There are no age restrictions for the person with dementia or the family caregiver.
- While there are no specific income limitations, Project C.A.R.E. gives priority to low-income, rural and minority families.
Mid-East Commission, Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services, Duke Family Support Program, Cape Fear Council of Government, Western Piedmont Council of Government and Land of Sky Regional Council are responsible for delivering the services of Project C.A.R.E., a national best practice model for consumer-directed respite care specifically designed for caregivers of people with dementia. The goal of the program is to increase quality, access, choice and use of respite and support services for low-income, rural and minority families caring for a person with dementia at home. Project C.A.R.E. currently serves 100 counties throughout North Carolina.
Project C.A.R.E. is funded be the State and administered by the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services with expert consultation and technical assistance provided by the Duke Aging Center Family Support Program. North Carolina has been successful in serving caregivers of people with dementia through Project C.A.R.E. since 2001.