Helpful tips for family caregivers
Family caregivers face many decisions with life-altering consequences. In this July issue of our newsletter we explore the financial consequences—and possible remedies—of leaving your job to care for an aging relative. We look at the emotional consequences when an elder is facing the need for help at home. And last, we offer guidance about addiction concerns as a consequence of needing to take pain medications for a serious illness.
When a loved one obviously needs help at home but refuses to allow it, it’s frustrating! Below are two common concerns, with suggestions for ways to problem solve together.
Cost is a very practical barrier. Many older adults feel particularly vulnerable where money is concerned. They don’t want to spend! But the cost of help depends on the type of help needed.
If licensed care providers are what your relative needs—for example, home visits with a physical therapist after a hip surgery—Medicare and supplemental insurance usually cover these costs.
If nonmedical help is needed (cooking, laundry, errands), there may be resources to assist. Maybe your relative has long-term care insurance. Perhaps he or she is eligible for VA benefits. Consulting with an Aging Life Care™ Professional can bring those possibilities to light.
Or it may be that your loved one does not have an accurate picture of his or her financial resources. If you are the person your loved one trusts with money matters, ask if you can review the facts together to better understand his or her concerns.
Retaining control over their life. It’s common for accepting help to symbolize “the end of my independence.” That’s a scary thought. Realistically, though, all of us will need assistance at some point. You might try asking, “Under what circumstances would you see yourself accepting help at home?” This allows your loved one to explore his or her own red flags. Plus, it gives you insight about what life event might make home care acceptable and why.
When hiring help, look for ways your relative can retain as much control as possible:
- Pick the caregiver.
- Choose the days and times for help.
- Decide on the care attendant’s tasks and participate in giving the instructions.
- Clarify if this is a short-term or long-term arrangement.
Get the full guide here.