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Parts I and II of this article discussed the additional stress that is placed on a caregiver. This portion will discuss who to turn to for help and resources that you can turn to reduce stress if you are placed in the situation where you are a caregiver for someone.
Seek care management advice. A number of organizations and private companies will give you advice and guidance many for free. If your care recipient has a low income, then you might get free help from your local Area Agency on Aging. A lot depends on available funds. Go to www.longtermcarelink.net/eldercare/ref-state-aging-services.htm for a list of agencies.
A good source of free professional advice is the rapidly growing business of non-medical home care companies. Most will offer free consultations, and these companies will also provide paid aides to help you in caring for your loved-one with such things as bathing, dressing, shopping, household chores, transportation, companionship and much more. These people may also help you coordinate adult daycare or other community services. Go to www.longtermcarelink.net/a7homecare.htm for a nationwide list.
You may want to pay for a formal assessment and care plan from a professional geriatric care manager. Go to www.longtermcarelink.net/a2bfindmanager.htm for a nationwide list of these valuable care specialists. Even though it may cost you a little money to hire a care manager, this could be the best money you will ever spend. Care managers are valuable in helping find supportive resources, providing respite, saving money from care providers, finding money to pay for care, making arrangements with family or government providers, and providing advice on issues with which you may be struggling.
Take time off find temporary substitutes. Taking a break from care giving is just as important as taking a break from work or taking that long-awaited vacation. A care manager may be of help in selecting the best temporary help in order to give you a break. Or you may make arrangements with family or friends to give you a break from being a care giver.
See if your healthy parent can still buy insurance. If this parent cant afford it, then see if other family members might contribute to premiums. Some strategies involve using a reverse mortgage to buy long-term care insurance and life insurance for your loved one. You should also consider insurance for yourself so if you need care someday, then it wont be so stressful on your caregivers. To learn all about long-term care insurance and reverse mortgages, go to www. longtermcarelink.net.
Use assistive technology. There are a number of technologies to make sure your loved-ones are safe while youre away. Such things as emergency alert bracelets and pendants, GPS tracking for wandering, remote video surveillance, telehomecare, sensory augmentation, and all sorts of assistive devices to help disabled people cope on their own. Go to www.longtermcarelink.net for more information.
Look for the continuation of this article in the November edition of YourHEALTH Magazine. Part IV will focus on lifestyle changes that can help to reduce stress.
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