Paying for Senior Care Logo
Our goal is to help families find the means to pay for senior care by providing objective information and interactive tools on our ad-free, easy-to-use and comprehensive website.  Read More

North Carolina Project C.A.R.E. (Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty)

Page Reviewed / Updated - September 03, 2020

Program Description

Project Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty, also known as Project C.A.R.E., provides care consultation services to unpaid caregivers of persons living with Alzheimer's disease or other related dementias. This program sends dementia-trained social workers to the family's home to assess the needs of the primary caregiver(s). 

Caregiver Tip - Approximately 20% of Alzheimer's patients experience a phenomenon called Sundowning.  This is a state of heightened confusion that occurs around dusk.  Closing curtains and turning on lights towards late afternoon can help to minimize the effect. 

Eligibility Guidelines

To be eligible for care consultation services with Project CARE, the care recipients must have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or another related dementia. Related dementias might include Lewy Body Dementia, Vascular Dementia, and Frontotemporal Dementia. In addition, adult caregivers must recognize they can benefit from care consultation.

While there are no requirements on income, the program gives priority to those individuals who may be underserved; persons with low incomes, minorities, or living in very rural areas. There are no age requirements for care recipients or caregivers.

Caregivers of persons receiving NC Medicaid CAP/DA Waiver are not eligible to also receive care consultation assistance. However, Project CARE can provide dementia education, training, and referral to other community based services. Caregivers of persons on a wait list for enrollment into CAP/DA can be served.

Benefits and Services

Project CARE provides caregiver and dementia education and training, information and referral services, counseling, and caregiver assessment and care planning. Respite care vouchers, which can be used for in-home care or out-of-home care, such as adult day care, are also available to eligible care consultation clients, but are very limited. Family consultants collaborate with the Family Caregiver Support Program and 16 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), connecting caregivers to other social services, such as AAAs, and community-based supports specific to caring for a family member with dementia.

Did You Know? According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 180,000 North Carolinians (as of 2020) have Alzheimer’s Disease. This figure is expected to increase to 210,000 by 2025.

How to Apply / Learn More

Project CARE is managed by NC’s Department of Human Services’ Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) working through 6 regional offices and is available in all 100 counties statewide.

To learn more about Project CARE or to apply, contact the closest regional office listed here.