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Re: Caring for loved ones at home?

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This can be one of the most stressful things you will ever do. It can bring overwhelming feelings of joy as well as feelings of helplessness. "It is common for family caregivers to present feelings of guilt, anger, sadness, tiredness, anxiety and despair, as they often carry out activities without adequate guidance or support; when added to the demands on economic resources, family or personal organization, distress, conflicts and the accumulation of tasks, among others, this can create burden" (Nardi et al). Reach out for help as soon as any of these things happen. There are resources like respite care, asking family to help, adult day care. You need to make sure you take care of you so that you can continue to care for your dad.

 

Nardi, E., Sawada, N., & Santos, J. (2013). The association between the functional incapacity of the older adult and the family caregiver's burden. Revista Latino-americana De Enfermagem, 21(5), 1096-103.

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ps

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great picture, thanks for sharing

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Re: Caring for loved ones at home?

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I too care for my mom who is almost 94 & until about 4 years ago cared for dad as well. 

 

Although it's the hardest job in the world it is also the most rewarding job in the world.  

 

The way way I look at it is they gave to me all my life & I think it's fair to say I was no joy all the time but they never gave up or tried to send me away & I feel honored to give them back just a little of what they gave me. 

 

I would like to thank all those HARD WORKING FAMILY CAREGIVERS who give so much of themselves every day & give so much unconditionally!!!

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Regular Social Butterfly

Re: Caring for loved ones at home?

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thank you, Amy. There is a lot to be said for doing your own reference checks, and hiring folks directly.  I'm glad you have a stable situation at the moment.

 

The VA business is really hard, or so I've found. The Aid and Attendance paperwork is onerous. I worked with an ALS vet once, and found out that ALS is considered a combat injury. He got an aide for 2 hours 3 days a week, which wasn't much, but it helped some. He was on hospice with my team, and also followed by the VA. Complicated schedule. His wife worked very hard just keeping the schedule organized.

 

You've been in the trenches of caregiving for a long time. Your expertise is hard earned and so helpful.

 

Jane

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Super Social Butterfly

Re: Caring for loved ones at home?

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Hi Jane, 

 

I do include some paid caregivers on my caregiving team because I work and travel and I can't do all the care myself. I have used agencies and had both good and bad experiences - in my experience a lot of it depends on the agency, its' standards and how it's run. Currently, I hire caregivers directly. One is my sister and she is paid the same as the other caregivers since she spends so much time caring for Daddy she can't handle another job. The others I've hired directly. I find most via websites like Care.com and I have found a few via word of mouth. Even though I have to check references and do background checks, some websites make that easy for you, and it's worth the effort for me because I seem to have a better experience overall.  There are also different models that are somewhat in between hiring directly and using an agency - like Carelinx.com or CaregiversDirect.com.  Regarding respite, my Dad is a veteran and I've been trying to set up the free respite care he's entitled to from Veterans Affairs for about 2 years. I get so far and then the agencies VA contracts with are hard to work with and get people lined up when we need them, then I give up for awhile and then I try again. Right now I'm in the process of working with an agency that seems better but we still don't have someone scheduled. I'll keep you posted!

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Re: Caring for loved ones at home?

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 Do your homework when hiring paid caregivers. It's wonderful to have help, and there are many caring and dedicated people willing to provide it. But, of course, there are others who are not so reliable: My mom had several falls due to untrained paid caregivers, and one even stole her jewelry. When hiring paid caregivers, be sure to do background checks and get references, and carefully monitor their work. Stop by — preferably at unexpected times — to check in on any professionals or volunteers going to the home.

 

________________________

Really useful tips. Thank you, Ms Goyer.

I have a question about the above. I have told my clients over the years that there are basically 2 choices. One is to hire an aide through an agency and the other to hire an aide who works for his or her self, through word of mouth. There are pros and cons to each. The agency will take responsibility if there is a 'no show' or sickness on the part of the aide, and will follow up and fire the aide if there is theft. It's the AGENCY that does the background check, and also the training. The agency does the heavy lifting for adequacy, cultural competence, etc.

 

For word of mouth referrals, clients can find excellent caregivers, and the cost is usually significantly less than agency. Quality varies. 

 

For word of mouth, i think it makes a lot of sense to get references, but that's a hassle, too. My clients, when i was a geriatric care manager, and my patients, when i was a hospice social worker, did not want to take the time if they didn't have to.

 

What do you think? You're obviously in the trenches of caregiving. Do you have hired help now? Can you describe how it's working, or not? Do you use respite care services? I used to work in Maryland, and the Respite Care program was great, but limited in what it would pay a family to pay for 'respite' care, and the program money almost always ran out before the end of the fiscal year... argh...

 

You have such a wealth of experience. Thank you for sharing it. You are a generous person.

 

Jane

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Super Social Butterfly

Caring for loved ones at home?

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Are any of you caring for loved ones in their homes? What are your stories - joys and challenges? 

 

I'm caregiving for my Dad at home - he lives with me. He's 92 and has Alzheimer's disease. My sister and my two nephews also live with us, and my Dad's service dog (who is my best friend!) who is fighting cancer! It's a 3-ring circus but I love it and wouldn't have it any other way! I wrote a column with some tips that might be helpful to you:  Tips for Caring for Loved Ones at Home.

 

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Here's a pic of Daddy and me at Starbucks recently!

Post your tips here and we can all share what we've learned!

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