By Nicole Long, CEO of OCES

November is National Family Caregivers Month. It’s a time to recognize and honor family caregivers—spouses, partners, adult children caring for parents, grandparents caring for grandchildren, relatives, friends, and neighbors—who step up to support their loved ones in countless ways.

Caregiving can be quite challenging. Family caregivers may feel that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done—including caring for themselves. It is essential that caregivers look after their own health.

According to the caregiver statistics at Family Caregiver Alliance, caregiving impacts caregivers’ physical, emotional and mental health. For example, among those who take care of loved ones with dementia, approximately 40 percent of caregivers experience depression. (Family Caregiver Alliance, 2016.)

Support for Family Caregivers

Family caregivers often help with activities of daily living such as meal preparation, dressing and bathing. They may provide mobility assistance or manage medical appointments, medication, and treatments. Family caregivers also assist with housekeeping, shopping, transportation and much more.

In addition to providing care, family caregivers may juggle a variety of other duties, such as working, caring for their home and family, as well as maintaining their own health. For caregivers this can be a difficult balancing act.

Did you know? There is a program for caregivers that can assist them in navigating one of life’s hardest yet most rewarding jobs. Through OCES’ Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP), resources are available to assist family caregivers in their caregiving while also providing reassurance that they are not alone.

There are multiple programs for home-based care, which may include personal care, homemaking, grocery shopping, laundry, companionship and more. Family caregivers may be able to access these services and alleviate some of the stress of caregiving by letting others take on some of these tasks. For example, an older adult can receive a nutritious meal at home five days a week through Meals on Wheels, which can be very helpful to the family caregiver who prepares their loved one’s meals each day.

Every caregiving situation is unique. Essentially, the FCSP provides one-on-one support to create a personalized care plan outlining available resources that apply to the caregiver’s situation. The FCSP can also provide financial help for respite services, giving the caregiver a much-needed break while relieving some of the financial burden and/or the funds can be utilized to purchase items that will support the caregiver or their loved one. In addition, the FCSP can connect the caregiver to support groups and educational workshops.

Adult Family Care

Another program, known as Adult Family Care, offers a range of in-home services and care management to assist older adults and individuals with disabilities. Essentially, this program includes a wide range of home-based services and supports that enable older adults to live independently in the community in the setting of their choice (their own home, with a family member or a friend, in elder housing or a private apartment) and avoid unnecessary hospitalization or delay long-term care placement. Through the Adult Family Care program, family caregivers may receive a stipend for providing care.

Family Caregivers are Heroes

Join us in celebration and appreciation of all family caregivers who are making such a positive difference in the lives of others.

OCES empowers caregivers by providing available resources to help with caregiving through OCES’ programs as well as through other resources in the community. To get started with either program or for more information, visit or call 508-584-1561.


Family Caregiver Alliance. (2016). Caregiver Statistics: Health, Technology, and Caregiving Resources.