Do you provide transportation for your aging parents? Clean house or prepare meals in an effort to keep them independent and safe? Do you monitor them from far away? Any of these tasks can qualify you as an unpaid caregiver.
Over time, caregiving is a recipe for stress. If your loved one lives in King County, Washington, you may qualify for six free one-one-one counseling sessions through a program begun in 2013.
There's no income qualification. And you don't have to spend 40 hours a week doing caregiving tasks to be eligible for the program. Caregivers can be spouses, adult children or friends and they don't need to live with the vulnerable adult.
Sessions often take place at coffee shops; that's why it has been called "Starbucks Therapy." A home setting works well for others. The program emphasizes problem solving, self-management and positive change.
One change was made this year. The vulnerable adult must be living in their own home, the home of a loved one, a retirement community or senior independent housing. He or she can't be living in an assisted living community, an adult family home or a nursing home.
Seattle-King County Aging and Disability Services funds the program and Evergreen Health sponsors it.
Caregivers in King County can schedule their visits by calling 1-800-548-0558 or 425-899-6300.