get connected: 1-855-ORE-ADRC
Tel: 1-855-673-2372

Caregiver supports

Family caregivers with strong supports help those they care for stay in their homes longer and improve their quality of life. Family caregivers often do chores such as shopping, housekeeping, cooking and personal care.

However, caregivers face many challenges of their own. These can include:

  • Physical and emotional stress
  • Less time for their personal and family life
  • Balancing work and caregiving
  • Financial hardship

Family Caregiver Support Program

Oregon’s Family Caregiver Support Program helps caregivers support their loved ones and themselves. For example, services such as respite care and transportation can help.

Who’s eligible for the Family Caregiver Support Program?

The program helps family members and friends who care for:

  • Adult family members or other individuals who need in-home care and are 60 years of age or more
  • People of any age with Alzheimer’s disease and other related disorders

Programs also help grandparents or relative caregivers 55 years of age or older who care for:

  • Children 18 years of age or younger
  • Adult relatives 18 years of age or older with a disability who financially depend on an older adult

What to expect from your local Family Caregiver Support Program

Each Area Agency on Aging (AAA) has a family caregiver coordinator or options counselor. This person can talk with you about local services. Together, you will decide the best types of support and plan for your needs. Types of support available include:

  • Information for caregivers on caregiving resources and services in the local community
  • Help getting local services including home-delivered meals, transportation, Legal Assistance, etc.
  • Caregiver counseling or support groups and training to help caregivers make decisions and solve problems
  • Respite care that gives caregivers temporary relief. It can be a few hours in an adult’s home or at an adult day service program. An overnight in a residential setting is also an option.

Supplemental services that help caregivers give better care may also be available.

Examples include:

  • Legal services
  • Home modifications
  • Transportation
  • Emergency response systems
  • Incontinence supplies

Note: All services may not be available in all areas.

Caregiver support

People who don’t provide care or live with the person needing support often don’t see themselves as caregivers. It’s sometimes hard to realize your loved one needs your help. However, anyone who helps someone with chores or other activities is a caregiver.

You are a caregiver if you:

  • Help someone over the age of 60 who has a disability or a chronic health problem (help includes tasks such as housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation and shopping)
  • Regularly stop by to make sure the person is taking good care of herself or himself
  • Help as the person dress, groom or bathe

Recognizing when a caregiver needs support

Caregivers tend to focus on the other person’s health and welfare and neglect their own well-being. Following are some signs that a caregiver needs support:

  • Health issues such as feeling tired and fatigued, new or worsening health problems, chronic pain, change in appetite, weight changes
  • Emotional issues such as irritability, depression, concentration problems, sense of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Sleep problems such as not easily falling asleep or waking in the night

Empowering the caregiver

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Powerful Tools is a six-week class to help caregivers take care of themselves.

It includes tools to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Deal with difficult feelings
  • Change negative self-talk
  • Improve communication with family members and health service providers
  • Make tough caregiving decisions

How do I find Powerful Tools for Caregiving class?

To find a Powerful Tools for Caregiving class, contact your local family caregiver coordinator or Options Counselor. Call Tel: 1-855-ORE-ADRC (1-855-673-2372).

If you’d like more information on Powerful Tools for Caregivers, go to

Free trainings offered by Oregon Care Partners

Oregon Care Partners helps caregivers improve the lives and care of aging Oregonians by providing access to no-cost, high-quality trainings across Oregon. Classes are available to anyone living or working in the state of Oregon and are available both online and in-person. In-person classes are held around the state and led by caring professionals in the field of long term care. Online classes are self-paced and most take only an hour to complete. Family members, all levels of professional caregivers and members of the public are encouraged to register. Training topics include:

  • Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s and other related dementias;
  • Strategies to manage common challenging behaviors like anger and aggression;
  • Safe medication management to improve health outcomes and quality of life for aging Oregonians;
  • Specialized training for public safety workers on Alzheimer’s and other related dementias.

Family Caregiver Training

The Oregon Home Care Commission trains homecare workers, personal support workers and family caregivers. Contact the Oregon Home Care Commission for registration and costs.

Resources for caregivers, grandparents and other relatives as parents

For additional information or resources in your local area:

ADRC of Oregon staff are available to help you explore your options to meet your current needs or create a plan for the future.

Oregon Family Caregiver Handbook

The information in this handbook will help you learn more about caregiving.


Caregiver Self-assessment Questionnaire

This self-assessment will help you recognize stress and potential health risks. The results will help you decide if you need to address your health issues with your health care provider.

10 Tips for Family Caregivers

  • Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone!
  • Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
  • Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
  • Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors.
  • Caregiving is hard work so take respite breaks often.
  • Watch out for signs of depression and don't delay in getting professional help when you need it.
  • Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.
  • Organize medical information so it's up to date and easy to find.
  • Make sure legal documents are in order.
  • Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!
Oregon Department of Human Services, State of Oregon, ODVA Veterans
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