Caring for a loved one can be rewarding, but it can also take its toll. Stress is the number one challenge facing the more than 600,000 family caregivers currently helping loved ones in Washington.
Many people caring for a loved one, a relative, friend, or a neighbor don’t even think of themselves as caregivers. If you are helping an adult with tasks such as preparing meals, personal care, errands, telephone check-ins or doctor appointments, you may be a caregiver. Or perhaps you know a friend or neighbor in this situation. The Washington State Family Caregiver Support Program FCSP, operated through your local Area Agency on Aging, targets and helps support unpaid caregivers of adults 18 and older who are not currently receiving Medicaid funded long term supports and services.
The FCSP uses a screening/assessment and consultation process that tailors supports and services to the unique needs of the unpaid family caregiver. The Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral TCARE® system and the TCARE Personal Caregiver Survey provides you – the unpaid caregiver – and the Caregiver Specialist with a meaningful evaluation of the challenges, stresses and satisfactions of your personal caregiver experience. Survey results enable the Caregiver Specialist to recommend service options that best meet the caregiver's unique situation.
While stress is the number one challenge, information is often the number one need. Many caregivers are unaware of supportive services, how to find them, or why it is important to use them. But a free consultation through your local Area Agency on Aging is just a phone call phone call away or visit the W4A website.
You can also call 1-800-422-3263 and ask for the Family Caregiver Support Program.
Family caregivers are the backbone of our state and national long-term support system. Please help spread the word about this important program to any caregiver you know. It’s the least we can do.