Day Programs & Respite
The abilities and needs of someone with FTD will change over time. It is important to investigate early on what community-based health and social support services are available to help you. Adult day programs, home health care and respite services can add professional skills to the team caring for your family member and reduce stress on the primary caregiver. The benefits may help the person with FTD remain at home longer.
Adult Day Programs
There are different types of adult daycare programs that are designed to meet the needs of adults with various health, social or recreational needs. Caregivers will need to carefully consider the staffing, services, level of supervision and funding arrangements before selecting a facility. The right program can be a tremendous asset for helping the person to remain safe and engaged in the community. It also frees the caregiver to pursue employment or attend to other tasks.
Some day programs provide specific health related services or rehabilitation for people with physical needs. Others focus more on recreational activities and social interaction. In all cases be sure to assess the facility’s ability to meet the specific needs of your family member and their willingness to coordinate closely with you. Some things to consider are:
- What is the professional training of staff? Is a nurse present whenever clients are? Does staff have experience with cognitively impaired clients?
- What is the staff-to-client ratio?
- Is the facility secure? Does it have safety features such as alarms to protect clients?
- What is their approach to engaging clients in activities?
- Does it meet standards set for receiving government funding?
Many people use home healthcare services or respite support to maximize a person’s health and independence in the community. Home care services can range from visits by a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, occupational, physical or speech therapists to arrangements for part-time companion care, or live-in assistance.
Professional in-home medical services under the direction of a physician that have as their aim to maintain, promote or restore a person’s health or maximize independence may be covered by Medicare or state Medicaid funding. Home health aides and companion services may offer a wide range of assistance including assistance with personal care, light housekeeping, meal preparation and household management tasks.
Caregivers may seek a combination of professional home health and less formal respite services over time. It is always important to fully asses the credentials and skills of those you engage. People hiring private aides or companions outside the auspices of an established home health care agency should be clear about expectations for care and consider seeking people who are certified and bonded.
Comstock Caregiver Respite Program
We know how difficult it can be for caregivers to meet their own needs while caring for a loved one at home. Grants through the Comstock Caregiver Respite Program help full-time, unpaid caregivers arrange short-term daytime or overnight care for loved ones diagnosed with FTD. Caregivers decide how to best use the funds based on their situation and needs.
The maximum annual grant is $500. There are few requirements other than having a loved one who has a documented diagnosis of FTD. Materials to apply for a respite grant can be downloaded here. People who received a grant in previous years are welcome to apply again.
Travel Grants to Attend FTD Conferences
AFTD offers modest financial assistance for caregivers interested in attending an FTD caregiver conference. The grants may be used to defray the cost of travel, lodging, conference fees and/or respite for your loved one in order to attend. For more information see the application materials.