Am I a caregiver? Can Leeza’s Care Connection Help Me?
A family caregiver can be someone caring for a spouse, a parent, an extended family member and, even, a friend or neighbor.
Are you taking care of a chronically ill friend or family member by often visiting, helping with activities like shopping, cooking, cleaning, and driving? Are you feeling overwhelmed and burnt out from the responsibility of caring for someone or feel obligated to take care of their needs before yours?
If you answered yes, then you are a family caregiver and can benefit from our services.
My loved one was recently diagnosed, what do I do now?
There are obviously important medical decisions that need to be made. But it is also imperative that you get your paperwork in order. Call a lawyer and make sure that all of your legal documents are in place while your loved one can still make decisions with you.
Knowledge is one of the most powerful tools we can equip ourselves with as caregivers reading up and getting informed on your loved ones diagnosis will help you as you prepare and progress through caregiving.
What are my obligations?
You are obligated to provide a safe and healthy living environment for your loved one. And, you are obligated to protect your loved one from abuse–physical, emotional or financial.
How long can I expect to do this?
In CareGiving.com’s most recent survey, family caregivers said that they expect to be a caregiver for at least five years, with many believing the experience will last 10 years.
This is a long-term commitment, planning for the future is key. Take into account your loved ones financial resources, your emotional resources and the community’s resources. All these connect to make caregiving doable
How can I get my family member to accept help?
Listen to and acknowledge your family member's fears and reasons, then express your understanding of those feelings. If possible, get your family member involved in choosing the in-home aide, adult day program or residential facility. Having a 'say' will help your family member to feel more comfortable with the decision.
Introduce the new assistance into your family member's life gradually. Involving your family member's primary care physician may be useful as physicians are often seen as authority figures and your family member may be more willing to accept help that is required or "prescribed" by a doctor.
To help your family member maintain a sense of dignity and independence, express the need as yours, for your own well-being. You can explain that knowing someone else is with your family member when you are not there allows you to not worry. Make it clear that you are not abandoning him or her.
Keep in mind that as long as your family member does not have dementia or other memory loss, he or she has the right to make 'bad' decisions. Exercising this might make your role harder, but you cannot bully a family member into doing things he or she is not ready or willing to do.
How can I make my loved ones home safer?
Talk with the person’s doctors and social workers about how his or her health might make it harder to get around and take care of themselves at home. Local and State offices on aging and social service agencies may be able to provide or tell you about services to make the home easier and safer to live in. Think about things like ramps at the front and back doors, grab bars in the shower and next to the toilet, and handles on doors and faucets that are easier to use.
What is the Area Agency on Aging (AAA)?
A network of Area Agencies nationwide dedicated to addressing the needs of older people and their caregivers.They are authorized by the federal Older Americans Act and the National Family Caregivers Support Program
How do I find my local Area Agency on Aging for services?
Call 2-1-1 from anywhere in the US or use the Eldercare Locator to find the AAA nearest you. Search by zip code, city, or county. https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/Index.aspx
Ombudsman, what is it?
Residents in nursing facilities are among the most frail and vulnerable. At times, they need help to improve their quality of life and care. An ombudsman can provide assistance so all facility residents receive respectful and competent care.
The nursing home industry expanded rapidly after Medicare and Medicaid began in 1965. When federal and state regulations could not keep up, problems began to surface. Consumer advocacy and protection emerged as a major need. Congress amended the Older Americans Act in 1978 to establish the long-term care ombudsman program to serve vulnerable residents in long-term care facilities. Ombudsman services are available in every state and territory of the U.S.
What is respite care?
Respite is a program designed to provide respite relief for family caregivers to give them well deserved time off for other family or personal interests. Caregivers may be of any age or income, do not have to be immediate family members, and are not required to live in the same household with the older person.
National Respite Locator
A service to help parents, caregivers, and professionals find respite services in their state and local area. The service is also useful when a family travels or must move to another state.
1-800-773-5433 | www.respitelocator.org