Caregiver Information

There are varying degrees of caregiving. Some caregivers provide care in their own homes, some help loved ones with a range of activities (bathing, legal/financial matters, medical decisions, etc.), but no matter what the role, caregivers need support.

Caregiver Burnout

When a caregiver becomes physically, emotionally, and/or mentally exhausted they are in what has been called “caregiver burnout”. This may be accompanied by a change in attitude towards life, their loved ones, or towards those who they are caring for. This state of burnout can arise when a caregiver’s own needs are not being met, which can result from a person becoming overwhelmed by financial issues, physical over-exertion, or emotional exhaustion. One can even feel guilty for spending resources- including time and energy- on themselves, instead of their loved ones. There are several ways to help caregivers reduce burnout:

  • Signs of caregiver stress include fatigue, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and relationship issues. When caregiving burden is affecting health and well-being, caregivers should reach out to their resources for help. It’s a good time to examine one’s stress-coping methods, and to keep what works and give up strategies that don’t. One way to maintain a sense of control is by connecting with the loved one’s medical team to remain informed and involved. 
  • Family members may be willing to help, but may be waiting to be asked or simply are not sure what they can do. Care, such as providing rides to the store and medical appointments, helping with activities of daily living, and other forms of caregiver relief, can be coordinated at a family meeting. A family phone tree is helpful for communication. Family members can also take turns calling to remind the loved one that it’s time to take medication, and can also offer emotional support so they aren’t entirely dependent on the primary caregiver for their emotional needs.
  • There are many local agencies  that offer resources to assist and support caregivers, as well as national organizations who help inform caregivers on financial, medical, and other caregiving choices. 
  • It is helpful for a caregiver to commit a minimum of 10 minutes daily either to their own personal needs or to do something they love. This can include addressing one’s own healthcare, walking outdoors, practicing creative visualization, reading, listening to music or simply calling a friend. Being good to one’s self can help a caregiver maintain a healthy lifestyle.

One good way to ease caregiver burnout is with respite care, which is third party care for a loved one that provides short term relief. This care can be provided in the home, a skilled facility or adult day program and the time frame can be an afternoon, day, or week.

Typically insurance payments do not cover respite care, which leaves the caregiver responsible for the cost. Medicare may cover up to five days in a skilled facility for a person receiving hospice care. Medicaid may cover some of the cost.

Those seeking longer term care can contact the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program at 216.696.2719 for guidance on appropriate care facilities and information on the quality of local organizations. There is no fee for their services. In addition, the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging at 216.586.3441 Ext. 3131 can connect caregivers to respite services. There is no fee for their services.

Longer Term Respite Care Providers

McGregor Pace: 216.791.3580 - Provides care for enrolled participants at a facility like McGregor, St. Augustine or Brookdale Richmond Assisted Living. Allows up to 14 days a year for respite care. Days do not have to be consecutive.

Veteran Services: 855.260.3274 - A caregiver providing care for a Veteran who is in need of respite care can contact the VA Caregiver Support Program. This organization will help locate a respite care program or facility that is contracted for veterans.

Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Center: 216.957.8899 – Long term care division of MetroHealth.

Adult Day Programs

Programs vary from facility to facility, but typically provide meals, therapy, medication administration, transportation, and music and art therapy.

Eliza Bryant Village: 216.361.6141 - 7201 Wade Park, Cleveland, Ohio 44103

Jennings Adult Day Services: 216.581.2900 - 10204 Granger Road, Garfield Heights, Ohio 44125

McGregor Pace: 216.361.0917 - 2390 East 79th Street Cleveland, Ohio 44104

Your Second Family: 216.465.3694 - 4901 Memphis Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44144

Private Pay Services

In addition to the non-profit and government agencies listed above, there are a number of businesses who offer respite care in the Cleveland area.

Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage for those 65 years of age or older or with a severe disability, no matter the income level.

Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage for those with very low income.

Related Websites

Ohio Medicaid Eligibility Check:  800.324.8680 -This web page provides a rough estimate for determining eligibility for one’s self or family member. 

Ohio State Health Insurance Assistance Program: 800.686.1578 - A program that offers one-on-one insurance counseling and assistance to people with Medicare and their families. 

Nursing Home Compare: Detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing home in the country. A nursing home is for people who can’t be cared for at home and need 24-hour nursing care. 

When an adult who has a long-standing relationship or bond with a child or the child’s family, and has taken over full time (temporary or permanent) care because the parents are unable or unwilling to do so, this is called kinship care. This type of care often comes about in cases where the parent or parents are chronically ill, deceased, incarcerated, or when there is domestic violence, child abuse or other concerns.

Resources for Kinship Caregivers

Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services Kinship Permanency Incentive Program: 614.466.1213 - This program provides time-limited incentive support payments for children who are being cared for by anyone other than birth parents. There are some eligibility requirements. 

Fairhill Partners Kinship Care Program: 216.421.1350 - This program provides peer to peer support groups called My Time, monthly family days, summer camps, and weekly “Meet the Professionals” workshops. 

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services:  Publication - Ohio Resource Guide for Relatives Caring for Children