It can be difficult to know where to start first when you first step into the role of caregiver.
Those of you who are new to the role, may be feeling overwhelmed by the amount of responsibility that has landed on your shoulders.
We want to show our appreciation and support for all of the family members and friends who have taken on the responsibility of providing in home care to elder loved ones.
So, in honor of National Family Caregiver Month this November, we’ve put together a guide to help you find the best in home eldercare and services.
Look into Geriatric Care Management
It can be difficult to coordinate care for an older adult who lives in another town or state, and a geriatric care manager can help make sure that your loved one has the in home care and assistance that they need.
Geriatric care managers have saved many clients from injury or illness, and from incurring costly hospitalization bills, by intervening before minor health care problems or potentially hazardous circumstances spiral out of control:
- Proactively refilling prescriptions
- Getting clients to the doctor to ensure new-onset mild illnesses are treated early
- Taking careful care progression notes to share with physicians.
“We try to help with whatever [our clients] most need,” says Peggy Slade-Sowders, founder of ERH’s geriatric management program Living Well Senior Solutions (LWSS).
So, in addition to ensuring clients' physical well-being, geriatric care managers also identify and serve their clients' emotional and financial needs. From planning trips at home and abroad to making sure that they get to continue enjoying much-loved activities—the LWSS team does whatever it takes to keep the seniors they serve happy, healthy, and independent.
A Certified Aging in Place Specialist can help make sure that your loved one’s home is safe even when you aren’t there.
A certified builder who has experience with aging in place renovations can be a great place to start, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) can help you find a certified contractor near you. Have a conversation with your loved one and their senior healthcare provider about the kind of assistive or support devices you may need in the future, then plan out a renovation budget.
Find a Support Group
The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP has reported that over 44 million adults in the United States act as the primary caregiver for an aged or ailing loved one.
Unfortunately, many caregivers forget to take care of themselves as they dedicate their time to providing care for their family or friends.
Even if you’re providing care long-distance, you can get burned out by constant worrying or trying to take on too many responsibilities. It’s important to know when to ask for help.
- Find support close to home. You might be worried about imposing on others, but you may just find yourself surprised at how willing your friends and family are to offer the support you need to stay happy and healthy as you provide care.
- Find the eldercare services in your community. Every community in the US has an eldercare resource that connects you with programs and services that provide in home care for older adults. Reduce the strain you’ve placed on yourself by contacting the local branch of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) for information on services that are available
- Find a support group. Plug into a community that connects you with other caregivers. Nothing quite compares to getting advice and support from others who understand and sympathize with your struggles and little victories.
Remember that you don’t need to take on the task of caregiving alone. You can find the eldercare resources you need right in your own community.
Talk to Your Loved One about Moving into a Retirement Community
Many seniors are reticent about joining a retirement community because it is seen as a loss of independence. Not so at Marjorie P. Lee.
Our residents have shown us time and time again that purpose, zeal, and drive don’t have to fade with time. They can be found sitting on committees, hitting the red carpet in Hollywood, and living life to its fullest.
Retirement living at Marjorie P. Lee isn’t a life of dreary institutional corridors in a lonely nursing home. It isn’t about living out those last days. It’s about finding family and making the last act of life the best one yet.