Every family navigating the maelstrom of mental illness becomes all too familiar with the challenges and burdens of family caregiving for a loved one. On this last day of National Family Caregivers Month, I was pleased to come upon some important resource links for families navigating the maelstrom of mental illness.
First is the Family Caregiver Alliance. Founded in the late 1970s, the Alliance supports and sustains the important work of families nationwide caring for loved ones with chronic, disabling health conditions. It is one of the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care for loved ones at home. The Alliance addresses the caregivers’ daily challenges to better the lives of caregivers nationally, provide them assistance, and champion the family caregiver cause through education, services, research and advocacy. Have a look at this short intro video from FCA’s Executive Director, Kathy Kelly:
Second is the Caregiving Action Network (CAN). Founded in 1993 as the former National Family Caregivers Association (different from the Family Caregiver Alliance above), CAN is another leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the millions of Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. CAN serves a broad spectrum of family caregivers ranging from the parents of children with special needs, to the families and friends of wounded soldiers; from a young couple dealing with a diagnosis of MS, to adult children caring for parents with Alzheimer’s disease. CAN (formerly the National Family Caregivers Association) is a non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge.