Recognizing the Need for outside Help in Caregiving

Caregivers often don’t recognize when they are in over their heads, and often get to a breaking point. After a prolonged period of time, caregiving can become too difficult to endure any longer. Short-term the caregiver can handle it. Long-term, help is needed.  Outside help at this point is needed.

A typical pattern with an overloaded caregiver may unfold as follows:

  • 1 to 18 months – the caregiver is confident, has everything under control and is coping well. Other friends and family are lending support.
  • 20 to 36 months – the caregiver may be taking medication to sleep and control mood swings. Outside help dwindles away and except for trips to the store or doctor, the caregiver has severed most social contacts. The caregiver feels alone and helpless.
  • 38 to 50 months – Besides needing tranquilizers or antidepressants, the caregiver’s physical health is beginning to deteriorate. Lack of focus and sheer fatigue cloud judgment and the caregiver is often unable to make rational decisions or ask for help.

It is often at this stage that family or friends intercede and find other solutions for care. This may include respite care, hiring home health aides or putting the disabled loved one in a facility. Without intervention, the caregiver may become a candidate for long term care as well.

 

With the holiday season upon us, caregivers feel even more stress — with planning, shopping and participating in holiday activities. This is a perfect time for family and friends to step up and provide some respite time and caregiving help.  Whether it is provided personally or arranged as a gift of services to be provided by a professional respite company or home care provider, it is a welcome gift.

 

An article in “Today’s Caregiver” states:

 

“Nearly one in four caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias provide 40 hours a week or more of care. Seventy-one percent sustain this commitment for more than a year, and 32 percent do so for five years or more. One of the best gifts you can give someone caring for Alzheimer’s is something that relieves the stress or provides a bit of respite for the caregiver.
The Gift of time: Cost-effective and truly meaningful gifts are self-made coupons for cleaning the house, preparing a meal, moving lawn/shoveling driveway, respite times that allow the caregiver time off to focus on what he/she needs.”

 

It is also important to note that hiring professional care provider services can provide valuable ongoing support to an overloaded caregiver. A financial planner, care funding specialist or areverse mortgage specialist may find the funds to pay for professional help to keep a loved one at home. A care manager can guide the family and the caregiver through the maze of long term care issues. The care manager has been there many times — the family is experiencing it for the first time.

 

An elder law attorney can help iron out legal problems. And an elder mediator can help solve disputes between family members. There are also cash benefits for Veterans, who served during a period of war, that pay for home care or assisted living.

If you are the one providing daily care for a loved one, you owe it to yourself to seek help.
Take care of yourself and your needs, both physically and mentally.  Seek out professional help that will ease your burden and look for community service organizations that offer respite help.

 

The National Care Planning Council’s website www.longtermcarelink.net contains hundreds of articles with tips and advice for caregivers and their families.  Take a few minutes to find the help you need and enjoy this holiday season.

 

Copyright 2017 –  Helen Justice GCM – Elder Care Navigator and Advocate – Advanced Wellness GCM, Inc

 

Known by many as “The Elder Care Navigator”, Helen Justice is a Certified Geriatric Care Manager trained to assist elders and their families with the process of aging with dignity and grace.  Her knowledge and experience insures elders obtain quality care and transitional preparation for their future.  More important than the financial aspect of aging is the social and emotional component that elder care places on the family.  Go to www.advancedwellnessgcm.com for information on no fee seminar. 

Care Management Advice

Getting older is scary to both the person getting older and their family. Many questions arise when we think about retirement and ageing. Most of these questions start with, “how am I going to pay for…” All are legitimate questions. How are you going to pay for all of the possibilities of care, what are all our care options? Care management advice is an obvious need, not just for financial reasons but to get the best care possible for yourself or a family member. It’s never too early to get advice and it might be that you are in need of the advice now.

 

Care management advice should be something that every family takes advantage of but in reality very few families use this service. Geriatric care specialists could go a long ways towards helping the family find better and more efficient ways of providing care for a loved one. The concept is simple. The family hires a professional adviser to act as a guide through the maze of long term care services and providers. The specialist has been there many times. The family is experiencing it usually for the first time.

 

The need for care management will generally come about as aging issues develop like the ability to move about, dress, bathe, eat, use a toilet, and medicate. This need for care, advice or supervision may also be caused by an accident, disease process, disability, or frailty. A life doesn’t stop because a person is in need of help, in fact we enter and leave this earth in need of assistance from others. Most eldercare in this country is provided at home by family members. Regardless of who is taking care of whom, it is important to talk about it and have a plan.

 

Care Management Advice Is Needed to Assist with Eldercare

 

According to some sources, 60% of us will need long term care (eldercare) sometime during our lives. It is important for all of us to prepare for that day when we will need to help loved ones with care or we will need eldercare for ourselves.

 

Another source indicates about 40% of all seniors, 65 and older, will spend some time in a nursing home. The National Care Planning Council estimates that at any given time, at least 22% of all seniors, age 65 and older, are receiving some form of eldercare support in the home or in a facility.

 

Some 44.4 million adult caregivers — or 21% of the U.S. Adult population — provide unpaid care to seniors or adults with disabilities, according to a 2004 study by the National Alliance for Caregiving in Bethesda, Md. On average, those caregivers provide 21 hours of care a week and the average length of time spent providing care is 4.3 years.

 

Geriatric Care Specialists Provide Care Management Advice

 

Also known as Geriatric Care Manager, Elder Care Manager or Care Manager, a Geriatric Care Specialist represents a growing trend to help full time, employed family caregivers provide care for loved ones living close by or needing long-distance care. Specialists are also particularly useful in helping caregivers at home find the right services and cope with their burden.

 

Below is a partial list of what a geriatric care specialist might do:

  • Assess the level and type of care needed and develop a care plan
  • Take steps to start the care plan and keep it functioning
  • Make sure care is received in a safe and disability friendly environment
  • Resolve family conflicts and other family issues relating to long term care
  • Become an advocate for the care recipient and the family caregiver
  • Manage care for a loved one for out-of-town families
  • Conduct ongoing assessments to monitor and implement changes in care
  • Oversee and direct care provided at home
  • Coordinate the efforts of key support systems
  • Provide personal counseling
  • Help with Medicaid qualification and application
  • Arrange for services of legal and financial advisors
  • Manage a conservatorship for a care recipient
  • Provide assistance with placement in assisted living facilities or nursing homes
  • Monitor the care of a family member in a nursing home or in assisted living
  • Assist with the monitoring of medications
  • Find appropriate solutions to avoid a crisis
  • Coordinate medical appointments and medical information
  • Provide transportation to medical appointments
  • Assist families in positive decision making
  • Develop long range plans for older loved ones not now needing care

 

As with hiring any paid care provider to come into the home, hiring a geriatric care specialist is a similar situation. For those who desire to remain in the home the geriatric care specialist can help make that a reality and keep the care recipient away from a premature admittance into a care facility.

 

But the geriatric care specialist can also help in the other direction. Oftentimes the family is attempting to keep a loved one at home when that is not the best situation. For many and various reasons care in the home may be impossible. In this case, finding a facility is best. Below are links to find a care manager, facility, placement manager, retirement community, and financial specialists.

 

Find a Geriatric / Professional Care Manager in your area:
www.longtermcarelink.net/a2bfindmanager.htm

Find a Facility in your area:
www.longtermcarelink.net/a7assistedliving.htm

Find Placement Management Services in your area:
www.longtermcarelink.net/a7placement_management_services.htm

Find Retirement Communities in your area:
www.longtermcarelink.net/a7continuingcareretirement.htm

Find a Long Term Care Insurance Services in your area:
www.longtermcarelink.net/a7insurancequotes.htm

Find Financial Retirement Planning Services in your area:
www.longtermcarelink.net/a7financialretirementplanning.htm

Find a Veterans Benefits Advocate in your area:
www.longtermcarelink.net/a7veteransbenefitsspecialist.htm

 

 

Copyright 2017 –  Helen Justice GCM – Elder Care Navigator and Advocate – Advanced Wellness GCM, Inc

 

Known by many as “The Elder Care Navigator”, Helen Justice is a Certified Geriatric Care Manager trained to assist elders and their families with the process of aging with dignity and grace.  Her knowledge and experience insures elders obtain quality care and transitional preparation for their future.  More important than the financial aspect of aging is the social and emotional component that elder care places on the family.  Go to www.advancedwellnessgcm.com for information on no fee seminar. 

Home Repair Loan and Grant Program (Section 504)

$7,500 Home Improvement Grant Available to Low Income Seniors!

 

Rural Development makes loans for repairs to improve or modernize a home for families and individuals with very low incomes. These improvements are intended to make it safer or more sanitary, and/or even to remove health hazards. For seniors 62 and older who cannot afford a loan, grant funds many be available for these necessary repairs.

 

Eligibility to obtain a loan, a homeowner must be unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere and have a very low income, defined as below 50 percent of the area median income. Grants are available only to homeowners who are 62 years old and older and cannot repay a Section 504 loan.

 

Repairs that can be made under both of these options are to make the dwelling more safe and sanitary, or to remove health and safety hazards. Examples of these repairs are: fixing or replacing roofs, modernizing heating and wiring systems, and making houses accessible to people with disabilities.

 

Terms of the Section 504 loans can be up to $20,000 for up to 20 years at 1 percent interest. A real estate mortgage and full title services are required for loans of $7,500 or more. Grants are up to $7,500 and may be recaptured if the property is sold in less than three years. A grant/loan combination is made if the applicant can repay part of the cost. A loan and a grant can be combined for up to $27,500 in assistance.

 

All repairs must meet local health department requirements and other applicable local codes and standards. Information can be obtained through your local zoning and health department offices located within your city and/or county.

 

This document explains the process of the section in great detail:www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/3550-1chapter12.pdf

 

You can find home repair & remodeling services by state on our website at LongTermCareLink.net under Home Maintenance / Remodeling or by clicking the Link: www.longtermcarelink.net/a7homemaintenancechore.htm

 

For additional Information on Section 504 contact the National Office, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250, 202-690-1533 or your Rural Development State office, which can be identified at www.rurdev.usda.gov/recd_map.html

 

 

Copyright 2017 –  Helen Justice GCM – Elder Care Navigator and Advocate – Advanced Wellness GCM, Inc

 

Known by many as “The Elder Care Navigator”, Helen Justice is a Certified Geriatric Care Manager trained to assist elders and their families with the process of aging with dignity and grace.  Her knowledge and experience insures elders obtain quality care and transitional preparation for their future.  More important than the financial aspect of aging is the social and emotional component that elder care places on the family.  Go to www.advancedwellnessgcm.com for information on no fee seminar.