Alzheimer's Disease: A Handbook for Caregivers

By Ronald C. Handy; James M. Turnbull et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 26
Social Services

JoAn Cox

We criticize and separate ourselves from the
process. We've got to jump right in there with
both feet
.

—Dolores Huerta

Because Alzheimer's disease is a slow, insidious disease, caregivers often become so involved in caring for their patient that they forget to look to the social support systerns provided by their community. As the patient with Alzheimer's disease gradually deteriorates, the demands on the caregivers gradually increase until the situation becomes unbearable. Often, caregivers are embarrassed to seek the help that may be available. They may have had no experience with social services and may equate them with "being on welfare." Also, they may resent having strangers enter their homes or may feel that by involving a public agency they are being disloyal to their loved one.

It is imperative for health care professionals to known about the social services and benefits available to the elderly. Much has been said about the "fragmented" systems that abound, and often when people do seek help, they are confused and overwhelmed about where to go. This situation is especially true for caregivers of the patient with Alzheimer's disease. This chapter will hoperfully provide information about what services are available and how to access them.


AREA AGENCY ON AGING

One major resource that is readily available is the Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Money that is distributed by the federal agency, the Administration on Aging (AOA), and provided through Title III of the Older Americans Act is allocated to each state based on its number of residents 60 years of age or older. The state units on aging then distribute the funds to each AAA with the proviso that the money be used soley for the benefit of people 60 years of age or older, with

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