Question: I am caregiver to my father, who had a stroke, and my mother, who suffers from dementia. This takes all my time. I am unable to seek employment due to my situation and at times I require certain items such as toiletries etc. that my food stamps don’t cover. Would you know where to inquire about any financial assistance for certain basic things in Oregon? I have asked my local D.H.S. office numerous times and always get the same answer: “Sorry, but we can’t help you” they say.
Dr. Amy: What a difficult situation you find yourself in. In terms of your immediate need, I encourage you to call your county Office on Aging . Some counties give caregiving grants to family caregivers who need support. Another option is Snow Cap Community Charities. The telephone number is (503) 674.8785. I also encourage you to speak to the staff and volunteers at local places of worship. Many of these make small grants to families in need. They may also be able to provide items you may need. I also encourage you to ask these agencies if they have other ideas about sources of support in your area, both for your parents and for you.
Your parents are lucky to have such a devoted son. I am sure that sometimes you must feel that that your responsibilities are endless. I know I sometimes felt this way when caring for my parents. I found it helpful to remember that this was a time limited opportunity—and one that I was grateful to have. Your present situation may be difficult, but it will shift and you will be able to look back on this period of your life and feel great sense of accomplishment. This is a feeling that will last forever.
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