Reliefing Caregivers

On today’s episode of Your Caregiving Journey, we met Michael Lindenmayer, founding partner and chairman, Caregiver Relief Fund, a social venture launched last year to help family caregivers. (You can listen to our interview at the bottom of this post.)

The premise is simple: Provide relief so family caregivers have time and rest. The relief comes in the form of vouchers redeemed for in-home care provided by a local home care agency.

Family caregivers can receive vouchers by apply for help at the Caregiver Relief Funds’s website. When approved, the family caregiver receives the voucher for a set amount of hours of service (i.e., a companion sitter for three or four hours) and the contact information for the local home care agency supplying the companion sitter or home health aide.

The respite care is provided at no cost to the family caregiver. Donations, sometimes from the local home care agency, cover the cost of care. Currently, the organization serves family caregivers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and California.

Michael’s parents 12-year caregiving experience inspired the organization. The idea is not new; the state of Oklahoma operates a program called the Respite Voucher Program. The idea of a privately-organized solution like this for family caregivers is.

Michael looks to other successful social ventures, like Room to Read, as his model for The Caregiver Relief Fund. Room to Read, a non-profit promoting and enabling global education, opened five libraries in 2000, its first year of operation. Its libraries now number 9,196.

We can change the world, one person at a time. We change caregiving, too, one person at a time.

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