Caregiving may be one of the most important, and challenging, roles you’ll ever take on. No matter where you are in your caregiving journey — starting to plan; taking care of a family member in your home, in a facility, or from a distance; or managing end-of-life caregiving responsibilities — having resources at your fingertips will make the process easier.
AARP developed this family caregiver guide with you, the caregiver, in mind and as a starting point to help you find the services and support you might need throughout your journey.
To order a print copy of this online guide, call the toll-free AARP Family Caregiving Resource Line at 877-333-5885 and indicate which state(s) you would like to receive. A copy will be mailed to you.
- Supporting Family Caregivers in Your State
- AARP has a website dedicated to providing you with information about how we’re advocating for caregivers in your state.
- NC 211 (2-1-1)
- NC 211 offers information and referrals across the spectrum of human need, including but not limited to rental assistance, food pantries, affordable housing, health resources, transportation, caregiver support, financial programs, literacy and job programs. NC 211 is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
- NC Division of Aging and Adult Services (NCDAAS) (919-855-3400)
- The NCDAAS provides information on community-based services, benefits and protections that support the independence and dignity of North Carolina’s older adults, persons with disabilities and their family caregivers. Information on guardianship, care management, in-home aides, housing, senior centers, caregiver support and more is available.
- NC Medicaid Division of Health Benefits (888-245-0179 toll-free)
- Medicaid is a health insurance program for low-income individuals and families who cannot afford health care costs, including hospitalization and long-term care.
- Medicare and Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) (855-408-1212 toll-free)
- SHIIP, an agency of the North Carolina Department of Insurance, answers questions and counsels seniors about Medicare, Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage, prescription drug plans, long-term care insurance and other health insurance concerns.
Home- and Community-Based Services
- National Family Caregiver Support Program (919-855-3400)
- The National Family Caregiver Support Program is administered by the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services with regional Area Agencies on Aging, county Departments of Social Services and local provider agencies to provide caregivers with information about services; assistance in gaining access to services; counseling, support groups and training; respite care; and supplemental services. Service varies by county.
- NC Project C.A.R.E. (Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty) (919-855-3462)
- Project C.A.R.E. is a support program for caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia patients. It offers both patients and their caregivers counseling, care consultations, information, respite care, support networks, community resources and more.
- Dementia Alliance of North Carolina (800-228-8738)
- The Dementia Alliance of North Carolina works to improve the lives of dementia patients, their caregivers and families by connecting them with support programs, education and research.
- Duke Dementia Family Support Program (800-646-2028)
- The Duke Dementia Family Support Program provides support, consultations and education to caregivers, families and professionals caring for people with dementia and other memory disorders.
- NCOA BenefitsCheckUp
- Connects older adults with disabilities with benefit programs that can help pay for food, medicine, health care, utilities and more.
- Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) (919-855-3400)
- LIEAP is a federally funded program that provides low-income households that include a person age 60 or older with a one-time vendor payment to help pay their heating bills.
- NC MedAssist (866-331-1348 toll-free)
- NC MedAssist is a nonprofit pharmacy providing prescription medications to North Carolinians who do not have insurance coverage and have income less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. It also provides no-cost over-the-counter medications to those in need through its Mobile Free Pharmacy.
- Legal Aid of North Carolina (866-216-5262 toll-free)
- Legal Aid of North Carolina provides free legal help to low-income North Carolinians in civil cases involving basic human needs like safety, shelter, income and more. It does not handle immigration cases or new applications for government benefits.
- North Carolina Secretary of State – Medical and End-of-Life Directives (919-814-5400)
- The North Carolina Secretary of State website maintains the forms required to put an individual’s wishes for end-of-life care and other medical directives in place. It has an online registry where these documents can be filed electronically.
- Supporting Caregivers in the Workplace
- AARP offers valuable resources to help employers create a caregiver friendly workplace.
- NC Department of Health and Human Services – Transportation Services for Older Adults (800-662-7030)
- North Carolina offers a number of programs that provide transportation services to adults age 60 and older who do not have access to a vehicle. Medicaid-eligible adults are offered rides to Medicaid-covered services via the Department of Social Services. Other local agencies provide travel assistance to non-Medicaid medical appointments, senior lunch programs, grocery stores and other destinations. Transportation Provider Directories are available on the NCDHHS website.
- North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) (919-877-5700)
- The mission of the NCHFA is to create affordable housing opportunities for North Carolinians, including older adults, whose needs are not met by the market.
Specific Audience Resources
- AARP Caregiving Guides
- AARP offers free caregiving guides for specific audiences, including guides for military families and LGBT individuals. The guides, also offered in Spanish and Chinese, are designed to help develop and implement a caregiving plan.
- North Carolina Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders (SAGE)
- SAGE supports, educates and advocates for aging LGBT people, their friends and families, and their caregivers. Some of its key work revolves around long-term care equality, HIV and aging policy, LGBT housing, intergenerational connections and more. SAGE Central North Carolina and SAGE Wilmington of the Cape Fear Coast are the two affiliate organizations in the state.
- Regional Contacts:
- SAGE Central North Carolina: 919-832-4484
- SAGE Wilmington of the Cape Fear Coast: 910-408-5110
- Veteran Affairs (VA) Caregiver Support (855-260-3274 toll-free)
- The Veterans Administration (VA) offers a number of services and resources to support the caregivers of veterans. One of its main programs is the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC), which can provide caregivers of eligible veterans with resources, education, support, a financial stipend, health insurance and beneficiary travel. The two entry points to the VA in North Carolina are the W.G. Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury and the Durham VA Medical Center.
Care for Caregivers
- AARP Friendly Voice
- AARP Friendly Voice is a program with trained, caring volunteers on the other end of a phone line who are ready to chat, listen or just say hello. Phone: Call 1-888-281-0145 for English or 1-888-497-4108 for Spanish, leave your information and you will get a return call.
- Create the Good
- Create the Good connects people with volunteer opportunities and project ideas for sharing their life experiences, skills and passions in their communities.
- The Arc of North Carolina (800-662-8706)
- The Arc of North Carolina provides assistance to people with cognitive disabilities and their families through support, information sharing, advocacy, and home- and community-based support services.
- Easterseals UCP (800-662-7119)
- Easterseals UCP provides children and adults living with disabilities, behavioral health challenges or autism, and their family and caregivers, with resources and programs that allow them to live, learn, work and play in their communities. Easterseals UCP North Carolina & Virginia is the state’s local office.
AARP Resources for Family Caregivers
- AARP Family Caregiving Website (en español: aarp.org/cuidar)
- AARP’s Family Caregiving website is your one-stop shop for tips and tools to help you care for a loved one. It has valuable information about handling medical issues, health records and advance directives, home safety, financial and legal issues, caregiver life balance and much more.
- AARP Family Caregiving Resource Line (877-333-5885 toll-free, en español: 888-971-2013 toll-free)
- Connect with a real person and learn how to access local resources via our toll-free family caregiving hotline.
- AARP Family Caregivers Facebook Group
- Join the AARP Family Caregivers Discussion Group on Facebook to connect, ask questions and share ideas with other family caregivers.
- Community Resource Finder
- Community Resource Finder, a joint service from the Alzheimer’s Association and AARP, is a database of dementia- and aging-related resources powered by Carelike. The online tool makes it easy to find local programs and services.
- I Heart Caregivers
- Join the thousands of family caregivers who have shared their experiences through AARP’s storytelling initiative, I Heart Caregivers. Your story will help AARP continue to fight for more support for family caregivers.
- AARP Online Caregiving Community
- Join our community and connect with other caregivers like you.
- AARP HomeFit Guide
- The AARP HomeFit Guide can help individuals and families make their current or future residence age-friendly. It can also help elected officials, policymakers and local leaders learn about and advocate for the types of housing features and designs that communities need so that their residents can live safely and comfortably and thrive.
- National Resources for Family Caregivers
- A listing of national agencies, groups and organizations that can connect family caregivers with direct services and supports.
- AARP Financial Workbook for Family Caregivers
- This guide will help you get organized and capture the essential information you need to manage the complex responsibilities of caregiving.
- AARP Foundation Connect2Affect
- AARP Foundation Connect2Affect offers resources to meet the needs of anyone who is isolated or lonely and helps to build social connections for older adults.
- AARP Health Benefits Navigator
- The Health Benefits Navigator is a tool to help veterans and their family members find and obtain service-related benefits provided through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DOD).
- AARP Job Board
- AARP Job Board helps connect job seekers with employers who value experience and are committed to an age-diverse workforce.
- AARP Medicare Enrollment Guide
- The AARP Medicare Enrollment Guide offers guidance on key decisions you'll need to make about enrolling in Medicare for the first time, as well as personalized information that is carefully tailored to you.
- AARP Resume Advisor
- The AARP Resume Advisor offers a free résumé review to help highlight your skills as a professional by providing personalized feedback.
If you have thoughts about how AARP can improve this resource guide, we invite you to go to aarp.org/preparetocaresurvey (en español: aarp.org/encuestacuidador).