Southern Caregiver Resource Center
Marianne Delatorre June 2021
When I first found out about Southern Caregiver Resource Center (SCRC), I was caring for my aging parents. As an only child, I had always been a caregiver from an early age when my mother came back from Iraq with service-connected disabilities. I was constantly reading up on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) trying to understand her condition, driving her to appointments, and helping manage her medications. Growing older, I saw my caregiving responsibilities evolve to include my mother suffering memory loss and my father who became diagnosed with a chronic chest condition. For me, it became painful to watch my once healthy parents age and become vulnerable especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was incredibly overwhelmed balancing my caregiving responsibilities with work, school, and other activities. My experience is shared with many caregivers. We often put self-care last and experience chronic stress. We don’t seek resources nearly enough for ourselves when we should.
Since 1987, Southern Caregiver Resource Center (SCRC) continues to support family caregivers in San Diego and Imperial counties providing free and confidential caregiver resources including respite, education, family consultation/case management, counseling, support groups, and legal/financial consultation. The mission of SCRC is to help families and communities master the challenges of caring for adults with chronic and disabling conditions. Many family caregivers are prone to chronic stress leading to depression, anxiety, and illness. With licensed clinical social workers on staff, SCRC provides in-depth services that promote the family caregiver’s health and well-being. We are here all-around for family caregivers knowing the challenges that take place during caregiving.
SCRC’s professional staff works with families and caregivers to provide support, alleviate stress, examine options and enable them to make decisions relating to the care of adults. SCRC also helps identify existing and potential services to assist caregivers in coping and meeting their needs, as well as the needs of care recipients. SCRC’s Family Consultants provide an assessment of caregiver needs (in home or in our office), short and long-term care planning, and ongoing consultation.
REACH2Caregivers – Memory Loss, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia
Watching a loved one with a memory loss is a painful process. SCRC also offers REACH2Caregivers supporting family caregivers of loved ones with memory loss, Alzheimers, and dementia. Classes are offered in group settings with other caregivers and focus on helping family caregivers cope with their caregiving situation, take better care of themselves, learn stress management techniques, and develop effective family communication skills.
“I have learned about memory loss and dementia through the caregiver classes and training at SCRC. The REACH2Caregivers/CALMA program has helped me to better understand and handle my dad’s behaviors and learn how to keep him engaged in family activities.”
SCRC offers up to six (6) one-hour individual counseling sessions to caregivers seeking emotional support, skill development and helpful strategies to better cope with their caregiving situation. Counseling is provided by SCRC’s licensed clinicians and staff in process of licensure and under clinical supervision.
SCRC offers professionally facilitated support groups that meet at various locations in San Diego County. These groups enable caregivers to share experiences and ideas to ease the stress of their caregiving role.
SCRC provides information on chronic and disabling conditions and diseases, aging, caregiving issues and community resources. SCRC also has an extensive caregiver resource library containing numerous fact sheets, books and DVDs.
The caregiver role is a continuous learning process to better comprehend their loved one’s condition while caring for themselves. SCRC provides education and training on a variety of issues related to caregiving including self-care, behavioral management, and mobility assistance. The iCare Portal is a digital library of resources such as caregiver tip videos, podcasts, and webinars that help guide the family caregiver to empower them on their caregiver journey.
SCRC’s professional staff can provide on-site educational programs, resource fairs, and consultations to help employers meet the needs of their employees with caregiving responsibilities.
SCRC can fund respite services to relieve caregivers of the stresses of constant care. Respite is designed to provide care to a loved one for a brief period of time, so the caregiver has the opportunity for relief and rest. This service may be provided in the individual’s home, or in an out-of-home setting such as an adult daycare center or assisted living facility. SCRC contracts with select, professional agencies/facilities to provide this service.
*This assistance is limited by the availability of funds & may have to be curtailed when designated budgets are exhausted*
Legal and Financial Consultation
SCRC’s professional staff can consult with clients on the various legal and financial issues related to caring for an adult. Professional legal assistance can help caregivers with a variety of issues including estate planning (trusts, wills, qualification for Medi-cal), conservatorships, durable powers of attorney, and Advanced Health Care Directives. If it is felt that a client would benefit from consultation with an attorney or with another professional, they may be referred to a qualified attorney or legal service provider.
My caregiving journey has taught me family caregivers give all their time and energy to care for their loved one, consequently putting their own care and well-being last. During this COVID-19 social isolation period, we are faced with greater caregiving responsibilities to keep a healthy household. For family caregivers, it can be hard to ask for help, but reaching out for help is a sign of strength. Utilizing SCRC services is a caregiver’s guiding light. As a result, I am a better caregiver and ultimately, a better person for myself and my family. Southern Caregiver Resource Center remains dedicated to serving family caregivers with support services and resources that strengthen and empower them. With a stronger caregiver comes stronger families.
Contact Southern Caregiver Resource today at (800) 827-1008 and log onto caregivercenter.org for more information!
Established in 1987 as a non-profit 501c3, Southern Caregiver Resource Center is the leading provider of caregiver support services for San Diego County, serving over 100,000 clients annually with a wide variety of support services that include education, case management, counseling, respite care and support groups. Tax ID 33-0402867