Caregivers for seniors may often put their physical and mental health on the line when it comes to administering care for a loved one. It may seem like burning the candle at both ends for the benefit of a senior is wise, but the truth is that depleting your own energy and focus could wind up hurting yourself and the person in your care in the long run. Ignoring health screenings can also result in serious health consequences.
Sometimes the care giving process can feel like an either/or prospect. In other words, you either dedicate all your time and effort to helping your senior, or you throw in the towel and look for senior living or nursing home facilities to give your senior loved one to. While it can seem like all or nothing, the truth is that you have other options available.
These options offer you the chance to pursue a happy medium. It may not be perfectly suited for every situation, but there are services available to help ease the burden of care giving and practice some self care. Your loved one may not want to experience change, but you owe it to yourself to find an option that keeps you healthy and sane while caring for your senior. Here are some options you can consider:
Call Your Local Family Caregiver
There is a national program available that is required to exist within each Area Agency on Aging in the country. This program offers services ranging from a packet in the mail, to support from a professional adviser, to local services and events.
You can call your local family caregiver organization and ask for information about services and referrals to facilities. In general, these organizations will be able to point you in the direction of resources, trained caregivers, and more to help care for your senior.
Find Private Providers
There are private providers out there (that usually work for a profit) that can provide services to assist your loved one with activities such as cooking, shopping, bathing, dressing, and toileting. Known as ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living), these activities can sometimes be a struggle for seniors who have mobility and dementia related issues. These providers will usually charge by the hour with a minimum time commitment. Skilled nurses are available with medical credentialing who can help provide medication, give injections, administer to wound care, and offer any type of medical attention needed.
Find Public Organizations
Publically supported nonprofits such as Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) can help administer programs for elders who have limited incomes and need assistance with ADL’s. If the individual who needs assistance is married, only that individual’s income is counted. For individuals in families where the other spouse was the primary earner, they can apply for a “300%” waiver that is applicable for incomes under approximately $2200/month. However, there are strict asset requirements, though, and you should consult with a financial professional to know how much you qualify for.
Sometimes, working hard to improve the quality of your senior’s life can be underappreciated. Maybe they complain or act annoyed when you make a mistake, despite the fact that you have dedicated so much time and effort to helping them throughout their day. There are a number of potential causes for why a senior could be acting ungrateful, treating your poorly, or constantly complaining.
For many seniors, constantly complaining may just be a permanent facet of daily life. If they have always been the bickering type, then it may be the only way that they know how to communicate.. They may not even be aware that their negative attitude is coming across that way all the time. While these behaviors are not acceptable, it is not likely that you will be able to change the way a person is this late in life. In fact, the physical and mental frustrations that come with aging are likely to only intensify a person’s already negative disposition to everything. This is important to take into account if you are the primary caregiver for a cranky senior.
Adult Day Health Programs
If your loved one is able to leave the house, but struggles with ADL’s then they may want to consider trying an adult day care program. These types of programs will provide supervision, activities, and meals in a safe environment. Adult Day Health programs can provide medical assistance as well as transportation services if your senior is eligible for Medicaid. For seniors who do not qualify for Medicaid, there are daily fees and requirements that your senior will have to cover.
Call the Veterans Administration
Veterans and spouses of veterans can qualify for programs that provide assistance for disabled and aged individuals. You can ask the VA adviser you speak with about how your loved one’s service in the military can help them receive disability. Roughly 1 out of 4 seniors in the U.S. could qualify for the aid and attendance benefit under the right conditions. However, only about 5% of U.S. seniors are actually receiving this benefit. It can pay up to $2,127/month for a couple, $1,794/month for a single veteran and $1,153 for a single surviving spouse.
At Landmark Senior Living, we care about those who served our country and those who continue to do so. That’s why we’re unveiling a new campaign to help senior veterans and their spouses unlock the benefits available to them through the Aid and Attendance Program offered by the VA. If you’re looking for assisted living benefits for Veterans, visit Landmark Senior Living in Fall River.