For those South Carolinians who care for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other memory loss, help is available.
Office on Aging respite program coordinator Anne Wolf said more than 700,000 South Carolinians are family caregivers, providing care to someone who is aged, disabled or suffering from a condition such as Alzheimer’s disease.
“The sheer magnitude of what family caregivers are bringing to their loved ones, they’re helping them to stay home instead of having to find an institution, somewhere to place a loved one who otherwise would be able to stay home,” she told South Carolina Radio Network.
Wolf is the office’s Community Resources Divisional Manager and also the project director for the Federal Lifespan Respite Grant Project. The state was awarded the grants through the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
“They have provided seed money to bring together stakeholders throughout the state, both private and public sector, to help us map out a coordinated system of respite for family caregivers for people of any age with any disability,” she said.
The program is working on consolidating resources and funding to make sure programs that provide respite care are running efficiently yet helping as many people as necessary.
“We have consolidated some of those funding streams and additionally the money that is allocated through the legislature for Alzheimer’s Association vouchers, they also are administered through our 10 area agencies on aging,” she said. “Our ideal is that ultimately nobody falls through the cracks. There is no duplication of services and we have comprehensively blanketed the state so that every family caregiver has an opportunity to take that much-needed break.”
Temporary time away from the duties of caring for someone is the most identified need by family caregivers.
“We encourage family caregivers to take the opportunity to take the breaks,” Wolf said.”