Resources for Caregivers During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Taking care of a loved one with special health needs was a tough job before the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re a caregiver, you may feel overwhelmed with responsibilities and isolated as you try to take care of yourself, your family and the loved one who depends on you.
You aren’t alone. In fact, as the coronavirus spreads, the number of people caring for sick loved ones at home will likely grow, according to Archangels, an organization dedicated to helping caregivers.
As a caregiver, you already have enough on your plate, so we’ve put together a list of resources below that you can turn to for help. If you have questions about COVID-19 and what we’re doing to protect your health, click on one of these links. These links include the latest information we’re sharing with our members.
Florida Blue Community Specialists/Florida Blue Centers
The teams at the Florida Blue Centers are working virtually to help you. Our community specialists are social workers who can talk to you on the phone to help you address a variety of needs, not just those concerning your health plan. They can help you:
- Find resources in your community: This can be anything from finding food pantries that will deliver (so you don’t have to leave home) to helping with needs, like building a ramp so you can get your loved one in and out of the house. The community specialists live in your communities and will do what it takes to help you solve your problems. In the first nine months of the program, they have provided documented assistance of about $9.16 million to more than 9,500 members and others in the community. Click here and here to read how they have been able to help people.
- Help you find ways to save money on your care: This crisis has affected so many people financially and we don’t want that to affect your health. They can help you find ways to save money on your medications, your premiums, and more.
- Connect you to virtual care resources: Maybe your loved one needs to see a doctor, or maybe you need grief support and you don’t know what to do. One of our community specialists can help you figure out how to connect to virtual resources that are available to you.
If you or your loved ones participate in any of the services at our centers, you may hear from us soon. The community specialists are reaching out to everyone enrolled in programs to see how we can help. Some of our programs are being offered online, too.
The community specialists’ services are available for free year-round, not just during a crisis like COVID-19. Call 1-877-352-5830 to talk with a community specialist.
Review this flyer to learn more about how our community health specialists can help you.
Florida Blue partners with Archangels to offer support to members in 10 of our Florida Blue Centers. Our centers are only offering virtual help to members right now, but you can still get the support you need from Archangels. Here’s how:
- Archangels has put together a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the COVID-19 outbreak. The group has broken it down into the top five helpful tips you should keep in mind right now, as well as a deep dive into caregiving resources you can tap into. One of those tips is to reach out to other caregivers and stay connected to friends and family. Everyone needs support right now, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. And your advice and tips may help another caregiver who’s struggling. Click the link above for the full list of tips and tons of caregiving resources.
- If it’s more convenient, or if you just want to talk to someone instead of clicking on a website, you can call Archangels toll-free at 1-844-847-4944.
- Overwhelmed and need support? Visit Archangels’ website, which lists specific resources for each state, including Florida.
- While you’re there, take a few minutes to read personal stories from other caregivers, who may be going through the same things you are. Like Jamela, 32, from Indiana, who says, “Remembering this is not his fault makes me have more empathy.” Or Dan, 67, who struggles with the urge to leave and the guilt that won’t let him. “I want to run away. Almost every day, I think about running away and hoping someone else can take care of my father. I can’t live with that guilt, though, so I stay.” And Gavin, 28, who’s sharing adventures with his father. “We are actually doing the bucket list thing. Every time I help my dad check off one of those things, I realize that this is my purpose right now.” Take a few minutes to share your story here. You never know who you might inspire.
Family Caregiver Alliance
The Family Caregiver Alliance has a COVID-19 page dedicated to providing you the resources you need to take care of your loved ones at this time. This page also includes a link with tips to help you care for someone with COVID-19 at home.
If you’re a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, these tips can help you take care of your loved one during the coronavirus outbreak. The tips include things like putting signs up to remind the person to wash his or her hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and to make plans for who can step in if the caregiver gets sick.
Florida Blue Medicare Caregiver Resources
Visit floridablue.com/caregiver for resources designed to help you manage your loved one’s health and take care of yourself. Looking after your own physical and emotional health is one of the most important things you can do to care for your loved one. If you’re feeling isolated and lonely, try reaching out to an online support group. This post offers tips to find a support group that will work for you.
Florida Department of Elder Affairs
If you’re caring for an older adult, chances are you might count on local services, such as senior centers or respite care. Some of these resources may be closed due to the coronavirus. To find out what local or virtual resources you have in your community, call the Elder Helpline at 1-800-96-ELDER (3-5337) or visit the department’s website.
Administration for Community Living’s COVID-19 website includes useful tips for caregivers and links to fact sheets and tip sheets you can print out.
Caregiver Action Network posted this resource for families and caregivers: Tips for Family Caregivers and COVID-19.
Remember, you aren’t alone. We’re all in this together. And we’re here to help. If you need to reach out to someone on our Member Services team about your plan, call the number on the back of your Member ID.
Y0011_100867_C 0420 C: 04/2020
Filed under: Medicare