National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP)

Last Updated: January 2, 2022

Written by the Open Caregiving Team. Editorial review by Joyce O. Murphy RN, MSN.

What is the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP)?

The NFCSP gives grants to states and territories so that family and other caregivers can help aging adults stay safely in their homes for as long as possible. It is funded as part of The Older American Act legislation starting in 2000.

What services does the NFCSP offer caregivers?

The first service step is to counsel and educate caregivers. This includes:

  • Learning about their loved one’s needs and wishes.
  • Letting you know what services your community offers to help your loved one. One example is respite care to give you time for errands and self-care.
  • Sharing information about training and support groups to help you care for your loved one.
  • Learning about emergency assistance.

The next step is to help you sign your loved one up for the services they want and need.

  • This may be that you or someone else in your family is supported to provide the care needed for an older family member.
  • At the same time, you can learn about other programs that will help you in your caregiving role.

Who qualifies for the National Family Caregiver Support Program?

There are specific guidelines for who can be in this program. That means both the person providing care and the one receiving it. These are the various sets that apply:

  • The caregiver needs to be 18 years of age or older. The person receiving care must be at least 60 years old. Or a person of any age who has Alzheimer’s disease or related health concerns.
  • The caregiver is an adult of at least 55 years caring for a child under 18. The caregiver is not the child’s parent.
  • Older relatives who are caring for an adult aged 18-59 who has a disability. In this case, the caregiver can be the person’s parent.
  • Priority goes to those with low incomes, typically at 200% of the federal poverty level. This can vary and is why it’s helpful to talk with a counselor as soon as possible.

You may need to place your loved one on a waiting list as funding is limited.

How do I get help from the NFCSP?

  • A good place to begin is with your community’s Area Agency on Aging (AAoA) where you can find information about your state’s NFCSP programs.

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Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

FMLA allows qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year to handle family and medical circumstances while keeping their health benefits and job.

Area Agency on Aging

Area Agencies on Aging are organizations that share information and local resources for people who are aging and their caregivers.