Resources to Help
I’ve had multiple conversations with my mom about the struggles she has been facing as a caretaker. To be clear, my mother is a Wonder Woman, putting others above herself to help those in need. I’ve started to see her altruism take it’s toll, leading to exhaustion, depression, and endless worry. I can’t help but wonder who is caring for caretakers? I inherited the tendency to over extend myself so I can’t offer as much support as I would like. What I can do is research. If you happen to be a caretaker then let me help by finding others to help you.
Medicare will cover home health services under Part A or B. These include skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, and intermittent personal hands on care. There is criteria to have them covered but you can get the details of that at medicare.gov.
Personal Care Services
Medicaid has programs through there Home and Community Based Services Program. Slots are often limited and the wait list can take a significant amount of time. All hope is not lost though. There are Non-Medicaid programs for low income seniors that can still offer help. These “nursing home diversion” programs can help cover/lower the cost of an aide to help with personal care. A great place to find out about the offerings in your state is at paying for home care.
Adult Day Care
Studies have shown that both caretakers and those they care for benefit from the occasional use of adult care centers. Caretakers have shown to have increases in brain chemicals to protect your body against stress when they use day care. The services offered include those similar to the ones you would find a community center. There are centers that specialize by need that offer a more individualized approach. Depending on the center, the cost per day ranges from $25 to $100. Its important to find a reputable location that is licensed. a great place to start looking is through the AARP. They also have several guides that can help you ask the right questions to help your loved one get the best care possible.
Paid Family Assistance
There are several different programs that will reimburse a family member for part time care of a senior. The most popular and common is the Medicaid Self Care Program that will allow a person not living with the individual to be paid for a certain number of hours a day. There are also programs available that are specific to veterans. If you have the good fortune of having long term care insurance, the company can also provide funding to secure care from a family member or friend to watch over your loved one for a short amount of time each week.
One of the best kept secrets is when it comes to legal services available to elders. The Administration for Community Living lists a plethora of legal help available, everything from assistance with public programs like SSI/Medicaid/Medicare/etc. to drafting advanced directives. A partner resource for finding assistance from your states centers on aging is The Eldercare Locator. Using the search bar, you can find the closet agency to you and can get in contact with a representative that can not only help you with figuring out care coordination but can offer referrals and benefits counseling. What is really great about this site that they have what they call Caregiver Corner that can help answer so many common questions and concerns.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a sit that lists a variety of topics concerning health topics so you can find the most up to scholarly data on any and all diagnosis’ you might be facing. This will help you to be prepared and know what to expect as things progress. The site also has links to ongoing research so that you can find and talk to experts in the field on the forefront of new discoveries, including finding enrollment information for studies.
Caring For Caretakers
All of these are great resources that can be used to help get support to caretakers to lighten some of their load. In the end though, caretakers need to make sure that they are supporting themselves by participating in a self care routine and taking care of their mental and physical health. I wrote an article on simple self care activities for when time feels short, which it often does for caretakers. There is no shame is still making yourself a priority. Because there is so much responsibility on the shoulders of caretakers, its more important now than ever that they care for themselves so they can continue to care for those they love. Its hard job, but this time you have with them is precious so do your best to enjoy it as much as possible.
Welcome to Caffeine Prayers
Hi Ya’ll! My name is Chelsea. I like to write about my adventures in parenthood and marriage, trying to manage a home, attempting to take care of myself, and sprinkle in some teaching and counseling. There is so much here that hopefully you find something that interest you. Please subscribe to keep up with all my creative chaos and stay entertained. Thanks for stopping by!