Prior to the pandemic, it was a widely known fact that family caregivers tend to experience high levels of emotional and physical burn out, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and decreased physical activity. The toll is so common, there’s even a term for it: caregiver stress.
However, the pandemic has only served to amplify those issues for family caregivers, who now report experiencing even greater levels of anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, and more. The mental and emotional toll on caregivers has been enormous.
Local resources in Montgomery County may help to provide some relief for family caregivers, whether you’re caring for an elderly relative, a disabled child, or an ill family member.
Family Caregiver Program
The County’s Department of Health and Human Services offers a Family Caregiver Program to provide resources and support to local family caregivers. For more information on how they can help, call the Aging and Disability Resource Unit at 240-777-3000.
Adult Day Centers
We have daycare centers for children, but did you know there are day centers for adults as well? They have struggled during the pandemic, but as restrictions ease and centers are able to open up again, an adult day center might be a viable option. These centers are licensed and are tailored to meet the needs of adults who need assistance during the day but have not progressed to the point of needing constant help or supervision.
The Maryland Department of Health maintains a list of licensed centers in the state: https://health.maryland.gov/ohcq/Pages/Licensee-Directory.aspx
Senior and Community Centers
Like adult day centers, senior centers and community centers, as well as public libraries, often offer programs to engage older adults during the day. These programs can provide a welcome relief from isolation and help to create social time and community for your loved one. There may also be programs caregivers can participate in on their own, including support groups who might meet at one of these centers.
Senior Centers website: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rec/facilities/seniorcenters/
County libraries website: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library/
County recreation and community centers website: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rec/facilities/recreationcenters/
If you need help getting your loved one to doctor’s appointments or other locations, Montgomery County keeps a list of public, private, and non-profit groups offering transportation assistance in the region. Note that some may have limited or suspended services during the pandemic, and it’s advised that you call to find out more if interested.