Nov 1, 2023

November is National Caregiver Month

National Caregiver Month is a time to recognize the millions of Americans who provide care to loved ones/individuals with a variety of health conditions/disabilities. Caregiving can take place at home, in a healthcare setting, or even from a distance. Caregivers typically assist with activities of daily living, medical care, companionship/emotional support, etc. The many roles and responsibilities of caregiving can place significant strain on one’s mental and physical health, work life, and relationships/social functioning, which can lead to caregiver stress/burnout. Raising awareness about the challenges of caregiving as well as providing caregivers with tools and resources that can help them to better care for their loved ones is of utmost importance.


Local resources for caregivers: 

Unite Us Rhode Island: A coordinated care network consisting of healthcare, government, nonprofit, and other organizations which address social determinants of health (SDoH) and refers members to community-based organizations that can support their identified needs. For more information, visit uniteus.com/networks/rhode-island/

Family Caregiver Alliance of Rhode Island: Advocates for and provides resources to meet the needs of caregivers who are providing long-term in-home care for family and friends, including children and youth with special needs, adults with disabilities, and the elderly. For more information, visit fcari.org

Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging: Empowering older Rhode Islanders (age 55+) and adults living with disabilities to age strong by connecting them to information and resources in the community such as caregiver support/respite, health insurance assistance, food and nutrition assistance, public benefits, housing and transportation support, etc. For more information, visit oha.ri.gov

Rhode Island Office of Special Needs: Provides families of children with special needs with support, guidance, and encouragement regarding the healthcare of the child from birth through the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Ensures access to information for appropriate community-based systems of services for families with children and youth with special healthcare needs. For more information, visit health.ri.gov/specialneeds/for/parents/

Ocean State Center for Independent Living (OSCIL): Offers comprehensive independent living assessment services as requested by private individuals, vendors, Medicaid, and State agencies. Comprehensive assessments provide recommendations for specialized equipment, home modifications and/or independent living services that are required for the consumer to achieve goals for independence in the home and community. For more information, visit Oscil.org

BCBSRI Dementia Care Coordination Program: The Alzheimer’s Association is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting families and professionals and working to find effective treatments and a cure for Alzheimer’s. Rhode Island is one of over 70 chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association throughout the nation. The Dementia Care Coordination Program, administered in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association and a health system, is an evidence-informed intervention based on a VA demonstration study that showed improved outcomes and decreased utilization.

The program is designed to assist caregivers by providing them with strategies and resources to increase their success in caring for their loved one. Referrals to the Dementia Care Coordination Program are typically initiated by a health system’s care managers and can be made securely to the Alzheimer’s Association via fax, email, or HIPAA-compliant online form. A master’s level social worker (a memory specialist) will make an outreach call to the family caregiver within five to seven days from the date of the referral to schedule a care consultation. The consultation is personalized and usually an hour long. A written care plan is sent to the caregiver and a summary of the care plan is sent to the referrer. The full program lasts for approximately six months. A total of three calls are made to the caregiver during this six-month timeframe to assess progress and to provide resources as needed. As part of the program, the health system has access to the following:

  • A full range of programs and services
  • An opportunity for co-branding and marketing
  • Family and caregiver education programs by Chapter staff
  • Educational sessions for healthcare professionals
  • Customer service training for non-clinical staff.


The caregiver also has access to the Alzheimer’s Association 24-hour crisis line (1-800-272-3900) and online resources. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s Association will share outcomes and utilization data from the program with the health system as it relates to caregivers’ program satisfaction, clinician satisfaction, and self-reported caregiver efficacy following program engagement. For more information, you may contact the BCBSRI BH Case Management Program at 1-800-274-2958.

BCBSRI Behavioral Health Case Management Program: The BCBSRI Behavioral Health Case Management program is staffed by experienced mental health and substance use professionals who can provide education and support, assist with coordination of care, and help to close gaps related to social determinants of health. Behavioral Health Case Managers are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To refer a patient to the BCBSRI BH Case Management Program, please call 1-800-274-2958 or email triage_group@bcbsri.org.

You may also use our automated referral form at BCBSRI.com by following these easy steps: 

1. Log on to the provider portal of BCBSRI.com 

2. Click on Tools and Resources

3. Click on Forms 

4. Click on Case Management Request 

5. Complete the required fields and click Go!

For more information regarding any of the above resources, please contact Monica Ross at behavioralhealth@bcbsri.org.