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SD Caregiver Program - Adult Services and Aging

You are a caregiver who may be eligible for support under this program if you help a family member or friend who is at least 60 years old and who is ill, disabled or frail by providing the assistance he or she needs. Support for caregivers of individuals with disabilities who are under age 60 may be available through ASA's Respite Care Program or the DD Respite Care Program.

The Caregiver program for those aged 60 and over is administered by the SD Division of Adult Services and Aging. Note that services are free of charge but are limited by the amount of funding received by the State under the Older Americans Act. When all of the funding has been spent, applicants are put on a waiting list.

Caregiver Needs

There are many reasons why a family member or friend might need help and many different kinds of care-giving tasks. You may drive someone to appointments, do yard work, or help with shopping. More than half of family caregivers assist with physical care, such as dressing and toileting. Many also provide nursing care, such as giving medications or monitoring vital signs.

Everyone says it is important to "take care of yourself," but what does this really mean? It means not trying to do the job alone, or for too long. You may need to learn how to ask friends and family for help, or get Respite Care so you can have some time off each week. You may need to hire some in-home help for a few hours a week to assist with housekeeping or cooking. In cases of stress, depression, or illness, don't forget to get medical attention. Some people find it helpful to consult with their pastor or a long-term healthcare professional to get fresh ideas and moral support. Most important, give yourself permission to "let go" or ask for help when the responsibilities of in-home care have become too much for you.

Services Available through the Caregiver Program

The following services are available through the South Dakota Caregiver Program:

      Information and Referral

      Caregiver Training

      Case Management

      Supplemental Services

      Caregiver Relief

      Supplemental Services

Information and Referral: An Adult Services and Aging (ASA) Social Worker can provide you with current information on opportunities and services available in your community and direct you to the appropriate program.

Case Management: Case Management is a service provided by trained ASA Social Workers who can assist you with the coordination of services and care. Case Management includes:

      Assessing the situation to identify problems, eligibility for assistance, and need of services for the Caregiver and Care Receiver;

      Developing a plan of care which meets the identified needs;

      Authorizing services for the Caregiver and the Care Receiver;

      Arranging services;

      Coordinating the provision of services among providers; and

      Following up and reassessment as needed.

Caregiver Relief: The Caregiver Relief Program provides you with a temporary period of relief so that you can run errands, rest, spend time with friends, or go on a vacation. During this time, you may choose to have an individual go to your home to provide the care, or you may take the person for whom you are providing care to a facility such as an Assisted Living Center, Adult Day Service Program or Nursing Facility.

Caregiver Training: Caregiver Training can include instructions on how to correctly perform such tasks as lifting and transferring, bathing or toileting. It can also include working with family conflict and behavior management skills, or instructions on how to deal with care recipients who have cognitive or emotional problems which can lead to difficult behaviors. Depending on your needs, training can be provided by an Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Speech Therapist, Nurse, Counselor or a Dietician.

Supplemental Services: ASA recognizes that each caregiver has different needs depending on the situation and type of care provided. Through Supplemental Services, you may receive such services as chore maintenance, meals, assistive devices, evaluation of the home, transportation when there is no formal transportation provider, homemaker services or personal care tasks.

For More Information

You can contact your local ASA Social Worker or ASA's toll-free number at 1-866-854-5465.

See Also:

Respite Care - Adult Services and Aging

Respite Care - Developmentally Disabled


Back to:

Division of Adult Services and Aging

South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS)

Welcome and Introduction to the South Dakota Benefits Information System

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