Caregivers PDF Print E-mail

If you are a caregiver caring for a person with a disability, it is sometimes difficult to navigate through the various systems to try to find the help you need. Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed and believe that placing your loved one in an institution is your only option to ensure they get the care they need.  While services available depend a lot on where you live, there may be various "diversion" type programs or other support services in your community that can help you address your loved ones needs without them having to leave the home they are living in.


The following are possible options that may be helpful in helping you care for your loved one at home or in the community:

Diversion programs: these are programs that offer services at home or in the community to prevent someone from having to placed in a nursing home or other institutional setting. Your state Medicaid office should have a list of the diversion programs (sometimes referred to as "waiver programs") that are available in your state. If you state has received a federal funding award under the "Money Follows the Person" there may also be additional funds to help a disabled person move out of an institution and into community-based housing.  

Respite care for caregivers: these are programs in the community that either send someone to your home, or offer a site where your loved one can go for a couple hours during the day to help you rest from your caregiving functions.

Home Health Care: if a doctor has determined that someone needs certain medical services in their home, they can write a prescription for services such as: cleaning, shopping, bathing, nursing, etc. Some insurances will pay for this. Check with your doctor or hospital social worker for more information. Some services are available through local providers without a prescription or insurance, but availability can be limited, if you don't have alternative funds to pay for it.

Making your home accessible: there are programs that offer financial assistance and technical assistance in helipng you make your home physically accessible for a person in a wheelchair or a person that has other modification needs due  to a physical impairment. Your local City or County may have funding to assist with these modifications. For more informaton on assistive technologies, see:

Options for Persons with Developmental Disabilities: many states have services specially designed for this population, but the availability of services varies by state. Contact your local State Council on Developmental Disabilities for more information. To find the one in your state, see: