Older Adult Caregiver of Children

Do You Care for a Child?

Caring for a child in the home of a grandparent or older relative can be stressful. Many older adults do not know where to go to get the help they need.

The National Family Caregiver Support Program is a service that helps older adults take care of children whose parents are unable. Sometimes the children are in the legal custody of the older adult or the older adult through an informal agreement is raising the child. Support for the older care giving adult is the primary focus.

Things You Need to Know

  • The older adult (caregiver) must live in the same home and be a relative of the child
  • The child must be younger than 18 years of age
  • The older adult must be 55 years of age or older
  • The older adult must have legal custody of the child, be the guardian of the child or be providing care to the child through an informal agreement with the parents

How the Program Works

The Area Agency on Aging will complete a review of the family. A staff person will arrange for a home visit to meet the older adult and child. The family will be assisted with obtaining community benefits.

Depending on the family income, older adult caregivers may receive up to $200 a month to purchase services like counseling, respite care, or other program-approved services. Special training for caregivers or the purchase of supplemental services may also be provided. The type of service to be provided is the decision of the caregiver.

Cost-Shared Expenses: A Unique Feature

The National Caregiver Support Program is the first federally funded program to provide money assistance for care giving expenses.

In addition to the basic services offered at no cost to families, money assistance is provided on a cost-sharing basis to help families with out-of-pocket expenses. Family income and actual expenses are used to determine how much money may be provided.

Benefits and Services for Caregivers

  • Assessments of caregiver and care recipient needs
  • Counseling in coping skills
  • Respite care
  • Training in care giving skills
  • Financial assistance to purchase supplies or services
  • Benefits counseling on services available through local, state and federal programs
  • Referrals to Parent Wise, the Children's Bureau, United Cerebral Palsy, Penn State Cooperative Extension Office, Mental Health / Mental Retardation Office and other family support agencies when needed
  • Assistance in completing benefits and insurance forms

How to Apply

Apply to be part of this program by calling the Westmoreland County Area Agency on Aging at (724) 830-4444 or 1 (800) 442-8000