The National Family Caregiver Support Program is a federally funded program requiring each state to provide a support program for caregivers. Passed as an amendment to the Older Americans Act in 2000, each state is required to have a program to meet the needs of caregivers. Note: There are no income requirements to receive assistance from this program.

People who may benefit from this program:

  • Caregivers who are caring for someone older than age 60. While many caregivers are family members, this program can also assist caregivers who are not related by blood or marriage. This program is also for caregivers of a person of any age with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder.
  • Grandparents and other relative caregivers over the age of 55 who are caring for a child age 18 or under and grandparents or relative caregivers providing care for adult children with a disability who are between 19 - 59 years of age. The caregivers must be age 55 years and older and cannot be the child’s natural or adoptive parent.

Education, Training, Referrals

  • Monthly caregiver updates available via email or mail
  • Education and training in coordination with other organizations in Carroll County
  • Information, assistance, and referrals to local agencies and services that would be beneficial to the caregivers
  • Resource library

Respite and Supplemental Services

  • Respite Services offer once a year assistance of up to $500 toward respite care
  • Supplemental services are funds allocated to provide supplies to help with care provided by the caregiver such as specialized medical equipment, cost of medications and personal hygiene items

Powerful Tools for Caregivers - Workshop Series

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a six-week series of 90-minute workshops that teach you how to take care of yourself while caring for someone else. By taking care of your own physical and emotional needs, you become a better caregiver. Previous participants have found the program tools they have learned improve relaxation and exercise habits, as well as their physical and mental well-being. The tools also increased confidence in their ability to meet caregiving demands and improved their ability to seek out and utilize community resources.

Workshops are held on Thursday evenings at the Bureau of Aging and Disabilities from 5:30-7pm in the Spring and Fall. The series is free with a voluntary donation of up to $27 for the cost of the workbook. No attendee will be denied a book if unable to contribute. If interested or to register for the next series contact the Bureau of Aging and Disabilities.

Hands on Skills for Caregivers

In partnership with Carroll Community College, a course is available to provide caregivers helpful information to care for a loved one in the comfort of their own home. Information provided and skills learned include:

  • Basic Daily Care - Learn how to safely, comfortably and appropriately care for your loved one at home. This course provides a caregiver in the home with the skills to assist with daily personal care. Topics include preparing the home, basic supplies, bathing, nail, foot and mouth care. Observe and participate in hands on practice in our nursing lab.
  • Fall Prevention & Safety - Taking care of someone at home can be physically challenging for the caregiver as well as his or her loved one. This course prepares the caregiver to become safety conscious. Learn to be aware of unsafe conditions, correct the condition and take precautions to avoid problems. Practice moving your loved one within the home, such as from bed to chair or wheelchair to toilet using techniques to avoid injuring yourself or your loved one.
  • Be On the Look Out: Health Monitoring - Caring for a loved one in the home presents day-to-day challenges. This course provides helpful information for caregivers on the complications of decreased mobility, recognizing common illnesses such as a UTI, medication management, bladder and bowel concerns, changes in mental status and other body systems. Learn about adaptive equipment, supplies and support that can ease some of the daily challenges.

This course is held on a Saturday and cost is $35 with limited scholarships available for those who qualify. Call Nancy Ensor at 410-386-3833 regarding scholarships.

For information on upcoming course dates or to register, visit and search for Hands on Skills for Caregivers. Or, call Continuing Education and Training at 410-386-8100.

Caregiver Support Group

This group is for caregivers of people 60 years of age or older or with an early onset of dementia. It meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 4:00 pm to 5:30pm at the Carroll County Bureau of Aging & Disabilities, 125 Stoner Avenue, Westminster. Please contact the Caregiver Program Coordinator if you have questions. There is no support group in August. If you cannot attend our support group we are happy to provide a listing of other area groups. Please contact us for more information.

Your Mind Matters - Memory Cafe & More

This program is designed to offer a safe and relaxed place where caregivers, the person for whom they care, families, friends, and health and social professionals, come together for a time of support, an activity, and good food. Join us for Your Mind Matters on the 1st Thursday of the month at the Westminster Senior and Community Center at 10:00am or the Mt. Airy Senior and Community Center on the 1st Friday of the month at 10:00am. There are no meetings in August and January.

Caregivers Conference

The 2019 Caregivers Conference, co-sponsored with AARP, “Are Your Ducks in a Row?”, will be held on Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 8:30am to 2:30pm at the Westminster Senior and Community Center, 125 Stoner Avenue, Westminster. The FREE conference is open to the public but registration is required. Topics include:

  • Medicare: Everything you need to know and more
  • Palliative Care, MOLST and Advanced Directives
  • Understanding and Responding to Dementia-Related Behaviors
  • Therapy through Music
  • The Finances of Aging in Place, Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

Register by calling 410-386-3800. 

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

A support group for grandparents raising grandchildren is held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. It is held at the Carroll County Bureau of Aging and Disabilities, 125 Stoner Avenue, Westminster. Please contact the Caregiver Coordination for more information.

The 2019 conference to support grandparents raising grandchildren and other interested individuals, “Putting the Pieces Together” will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019 from 8:30am to 12:30pm at the Westminster Senior and Community Center, 125 Stoner Avenue, Westminster. Co-Sponsored by Carroll County Public Schools, the conference is FREE and open to the public but registration is required. Topics include:

  • Learn how to find the help your child needs with programs already available within our school system
  • Learn the difference between what is age appropriate behavior and what could be mental illness
  • Learn how much screen time is too much.

Register by calling 410-386-3800.