A Two Part series written by Author: David Crumrine at the Caring Space
An organization that connects caregivers and care seekers, providing an easy and affordable resource for families seeking care for friends/loved ones and caregivers seeking employment.
Part Two – Caregiver Stress and How to Avoid it
“Taking a break sometimes, it may be necessary to take a break from caregiving to reduce stress. Respite care provides relief services for people who need rest after caring for others. There are various types including:
* In-home Respite Care. This type of elder care generally involves in home health care services from companionship to nursing.
* Adult Day Care. This type of elder care is often held in community centers, and sometimes transportation to and from the center is provided.
* Short-term Nursing Homes. These types of nursing homes provide care for senior citizens over the short-term and are useful when a caregiver has to go out of town for few weeks.
If you are feeling overwhelmed working and taking care of a relative, it may be helpful to take a break from your work. Ask Human Resources about different options for taking leave. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act allows one to take as much as 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a loved one.
Hiring an in home health aide will also ensure your loved one is cared for, if you cannot always be there or provide the care yourself. Home health aides can provide care for as little as a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. They provide assistance with personal care, like bathing or brushing teeth. They offer housekeeping services, like laundry and light cleaning. They also act as companions providing social interaction. Finally, they assist with administering medications and other treatments. You can hire a home health aide through an in home health care agency or independently, generally independent caregivers are less expensive.
Caregiving Services in your Community
Asking your doctor or case manager about resources in your community is a good place to begin locating additional caregiving services. Some of these services may be free while others require payment. Local churches, synagogues, and community centers may give free services for senior citizens or disabled individuals. The government also provides many benefits at the federal, state, and local levels for senior citizen elder care and care for disabled individuals. To find out more about these, you can contact your local Area Agency on Aging. You can also look into respite care or in home health care services available in your area in your phone book.
Paying for Home Health Care and Other Caregiving Services
Medicare, Medicaid, private “Medigap” policies or health insurance, or long-term care insurance may cover some of costs of in home health care. Other costs will have to be paid for out of pocket.
In home health care costs depend on the services you use. Non-medical workers like companions or housekeepers are much less expensive than medical workers like nurses. Also, the cost of using in home health care agencies vary, but is generally more expensive than using an independent caregiver.
In addition to Medicare and Medicaid, the federal government provides the National Family Caregiver Support Program. This program helps states to provide services for caregivers. Every state offers different types of services, many include respite care, support groups, individual counseling, caregiver training, and help accessing additional benefits. To be eligible, a caregiver must:
* Provide care for a senior citizen at least 60 years of age or older
* Provide care for or any person with Alzheimer’s disease
* Be at least 55 years of age and provide the primary care for a child under the age of 18
* Be at least 55 years of age and provide the primary care for a disabled adult aged 18 to 59 years old”
The Caregiver: Families of Honor, Book OneAmerican Medical Association Guide to Home CaregivingChicken Soup for the Caregiver’s SoulAlzheimers In America The Shriver Report On Women And Alzheimers Alzheimers In America