Family Caregiver Alliance

About Family Caregiver Alliance

Founded in 1977, Family Caregiver Alliance was the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care at home. FCA now offers programs at national, state, and local levels to support and sustain caregivers.


More than 30 years ago, a small task force of families and community leaders in San Francisco came together to create support services for those struggling to provide long term care for a loved one who did not "fit" into traditional health systems: adults with Alzheimer's disease, stroke, Parkinson's, traumatic brain injuries, and other debilitating disorders. The diagnoses were different, but the families shared common challenges: isolation, lack of information, scarce community resources, and drastic changes in family roles.

The task force's early efforts had three lasting results: the formation of Family Caregiver Alliance, the genesis of a statewide network of Caregiver Resource Centers, and the beginnings of a national movement to recognize the immense contribution of family caregivers to the long-term health care of the ill and elderly.

FCA is a public voice for caregivers, illuminating the daily challenges they face, offering them the assistance they need and deserve, and championing their cause through education, services, research, and advocacy.

For more information, please go to FCA's site at

Top Tip

Ask simple, answerable questions. Ask one question at a time; those with yes or no answers work best. Refrain from asking open-ended questions or giving too many choices. For example, ask, “Would you like to wear your white shirt or your blue shirt?” Better still, show her the choices—visual prompts and cues also help clarify your question and can guide her response.

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Q: The expenses of caring for my dad are becoming overwhelming. Surely there is some sort of government support to help me with reducing the costs of all his care? Where do I start?

A: Unfortunately, there is no system to help pay for the expenses of long-term caregiving unless your dad is considered low-income. If he is, the Medicaid system might be able to help you. Since this program is different in every state and the qualifications are different in every state, you would start by calling your Area Agency on Aging and asking them for the number of your local Medicaid office.

There are also ways that your dad could legally pay you for being his caregiver, if he can afford it. For that, you would do well to consult an...