National Family Caregiver Program

The Older Americans Act authorized the National Family Caregiver Support Program in 2000. Family Caregivers provide the vast majority of the assistance that enables older people to live independently in their homes and communities.

Family caregivers face substantial stress and burdens as a consequence of care giving obligations. Prolonged care giving can adversely affect one’s physical and psychological health, current and future employment status and earning capability, ability to balance the needs of older parents and younger family members, and the ability to meet personal needs.

Because caregivers play such an important role, services that sustain a caregiver’s role and maintain their emotional and physical health are an important component of any home and community-based care system. The majority of the National Family Caregiver Support Program is to support caregivers through statewide programs that provide information, assistance and access, training, respite counseling, support groups and other services as provided. National Family Caregiver Support Program policy is applicable to the Title III-E of the Older American’s Act and Kentucky Revised Statute.


Services under this program shall be provided to family and informal caregivers caring for an adult 60 or older or an individual of any age with Alzheimer’s or related disorders.

Priority shall be given to older individuals with greatest social and economic need, (with particular attention to low-income older individuals) and older individuals providing care and support to persons with mental retardation and related Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (42U.S.C.6001).

The term caregiver means an adult family member or another individual who is an “informal” provider of in-home and community care to an older individual. This individual must be determined (deemed frail) to be functionally-impaired in the performance of:

a. Two (2) activities of daily living; 

b. Three (3) instrumental activities of daily living; 

c. A combination of one (1) activity of daily living and two (2) instrumental activities of daily living.

d. Due to a cognitive or other mental impairment, requires substantial supervision because the individual behaves in a manner that poses a serious health or safety hazard to the individual or to another individual.

Services are also available for grandparents and relatives (does not include parent) age 55 or older who are providing care to a child not more than 18 years of age, or an adult (age 19-59) with a disability.

Grandparents (step-grandparent)/Other Relative must be the primary caregiver of the child because the biological or adoptive parents are unable or unwilling to serve as primary caregiver. Lives with the child and has a legal relationship to the child, as legal custody, guardianship, or is raising the child informally.