Caregiver Fundamentals Program
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP Public Policy Institute, 43.5 million adults in the United States provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last year. Sunbeam Family Services is proud to come alongside caregivers to provide support and practical solutions to help caregiver’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. If you are living with and caring for a loved one 60+ and living in Oklahoma, Cleveland, Canadian, or Logan counties, our program is available to you. We provide:
Assists caregivers in accessing benefits and services available to senior adults in the community. Visit areawideaging.org for the 2017-18 Resource Directory or call for personal assistance at 405.942.8500.
Caregivers have access to experts in a variety of fields through Sunbeam’s educational series. The trainings help caregivers with stress reduction, clear communication, caregiver self-confidence, balanced living, and tough decision-making.
Sunbeam provides a safe setting for caregivers to connect with other caregivers who understand what they are going through. To see the dates for our support groups, visit the calendars below:
Occasionally you may need time away from your responsibility as primary caregiver. Sunbeam offers relief so that you can have a break for short periods of time.
Caregivers have access to Sunbeam’s counseling services to help cope with life’s challenges or other issues related to caregiving responsibilities. Sunbeam’s counseling staff consists of mental health professionals who provide traditional counseling services based on their professional training, experience, and areas of expertise.
For more information about the services Sunbeam Family Services offers caregivers, call 405.609.8923.
The Caregiver Fundamentals Program makes no distinctions on the grounds of race, color, gender, age, ancestry, national origin, religion, or disability. A portion of the project costs are met by state and federal OAA funds from Areawide Aging Agency and OKDHS Aging Services Division. There are no costs to participants; however, donations are accepted. Suggested donation per services: Information Services, $1/activity; Access Assistance, $1/activity; Support Group, $2.50/meeting; Respite, $2.50/visit; School Supplies, $5/family; and Training Seminars, $5/seminar.
Support Groups Help with the Emotional Side of Caregiving
When Annie Culpepper’s mother, Virginia, was diagnosed with dementia at 85 years old, Annie moved back to Oklahoma from New York and moved in with her mother to become her caretaker. That was 10 years ago.
Annie first learned of Sunbeam Family Services when she received a referral for Sunbeam’s Senior Companion Program, which provided a volunteer who came to their home a few hours a week to help with light housekeeping and transportation to and from appointments.
As a caregiver Annie felt the emotional side of caregiving, glad for the chance to take care of her mother but also heavy with feelings of guilt, anger and sadness that is common for caregivers to experience.
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, there are approximately 43.5 million caregivers in the United States who are providing unpaid care for loved ones. Caregivers are typically hesitant to share negative feelings with others because they are ashamed by the feelings and are afraid of being judged.
Annie said that she experienced Sunbeam’s support groups as a safe place to say things that were on her mind without feeling judged.
“In the support groups you get the human side of caregiving. You see that other people are dealing with some of the same feelings; that it’s pretty normal. It is a compassionate and loving place and I felt like arms were wrapped around me,” she said.
Her participation in the groups gave her the strength to go back to face what she and her mother were going through, she said.
Virginia died in May 2017 at the age of 95 and Annie is grateful for the caregiver resources she was able to tap into through Sunbeam.
“I know that my mom was happy and that she knew she was well cared for, and that makes me feel good,” she said.
FAQ for Caregiver Fundamentals Respite Care
Absolutely! Our respite is available on a scheduled visit for four hours, once a week. This four-hour shift is available during the day and evening as well as Saturday or Sunday.
We encourage our caregivers to take care of themselves. When the respite worker is in your home, you are welcome to come and go as you need. It’s your house! We will attend to your loved one while you rest, take care of household needs or take a break.
We ask that you make the care receiver comfortable upon the arrival of the respite worker. Our grant guidelines will not allow us to transfer or help the care receiver by assisting them to move.
We ask that you contact your respite worker if you need to cancel their scheduled visit. If the respite worker is available to come on another day of your liking, the two of you may coordinate and schedule it; otherwise, they will come on their next scheduled visit.
Our workers are allowed to provide respite four hours per week. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide continuous respite over four hours at a time or stay overnight. However, we can work with you on identifying other respite programs that may be beneficial for your specific need/request.