Caregiver burnout can be avoided if caregivers can give simply themselves permission to care for themselves. At the center of a lot of what can be done for the caregiver is a very simple philosophy: Don’t try to do it all alone. The caregiver or someone close to the caregiver needs somebody to help make decisions, somebody to take over some of the workload, somebody to stand up for an elder or other individual with special needs or most of all somebody to counsel the caregiver on self-care.
There are other resources that can provide decision-making support, that can take on some of the caregiving responsibilities, that can advocate for an elder or caregiver and that can offer professional counsel on just coping. There are services to help caregivers in most communities, and the cost is often based on ability to pay. Look to programs such as adult day care centers, home health aides, home-delivered meals, respite care, transportation services, and skilled nursing. Some resources you should explore if you are a caregiver include:
- There are affiliation groups that can offer a range of support services. These can include the Elks Club, the Moose Lodge, Masonic Lodge and more. We should not overlook what religious denominations also can do along these lines. It may only be telephonic check-ups or meals or companionship, but it can be just the sort of respite a caregiver needs.
- Transportation may be challenge for the elder in which case your state or local Area Agency on Aging can be a resource.
- Just having a reliable agency to call on your elder who is relatively independent can also give piece of mind to a caregiver, and the Area Agency on Aging also offers pre-scheduled calling to homebound elders that can take some of the check-in responsibilities from the caregiver.
- Many local hospitals or long term care facilities offer day care for older adults. Because they already are equipped to meet the special needs of older adults who are residents, they often extend day services to area clients at a nominal charge.
- Find the local Area Agency on Aging. It may go by other names. Here is an example of state-level information. Check Illinois.
If the elder or special needs individual is a Vet, the Veterans Administration is source of a good many support services, some of which are free to a veteran. For a map of service locations, go to VA MAP. It breaks down state by state facilities.
We are the professionals who help families who are caring for older adults (geriatric care management) or others with special needs in Illinois. Our professional geriatric care managers and special needs case managers can be your eyes and ears when you simply cannot. You can count on us to help you manage both your care-giving responsibilities, and those of your family and your work that cannot be ignored…or postponed. Some of our clients refer to us as their Sister in ChicagoSM. caregiver agency montreal