Family care givers encouraged to tap into resourcesNovember is National Family Care Givers Month. The impact of family care giving affects families, businesses, and communities and the social, economic and emotional tolls can be high.
November is National Family Care Givers Month. The impact of family care giving affects families, businesses, and communities and the social, economic and emotional tolls can be high.
It is important that families learn about the many resources available to them as they develop care teams and adequate care giving plans that support the individual needing the care as well as the primary caregiver.
“It’s very important to make sure the family care giver stays physically and mentally healthy,” said Cindy Thieschafer-Karasch, owner of Alternative Senior Care, which offers personalized non-medical home companion care.
Thieschafer-Karasch offers the following suggestions for families to consider:
Talk with the person who needs the care. What are his or her goals? It’s important to listen to the desires of the individual in developing a plan. It’s also important to listen to the goals of the primary care giver, often the spouse or person living nearest to the individual needing support.
Determine who’s on the team. As the team forms, specific roles can be matched with personal interests and skills. Is there an accountant in the family? Maybe that person prefers managing the bill paying than providing personal care, or maybe just the reverse.
Determine what needs are present. It’s important to provide care only for areas that the individual needs help with. Independence is vital to health and well-being, so look for those skills and abilities that the individual is capable of doing and desires to do. Also be aware of what skills and abilities are likely to diminish due to physical changes or conditions related to health diagnoses.
Create an action plan. There are many ways that families and friends can support the individual and the primary care giver. Be specific. Don’t just offer to help. Offer to run an errand, make supper one night a week, take the individual to a movie, give an hour or two so that the primary care giver can go to their bowling night.
Determine when to seek additional services. Companion care or chore services may be just the help that is needed to keep the individual at home. Such support services can fill the gaps for the family care giving team in areas like transportation, respite care, housekeeping, meal planning and preparation and errands.
Family care giving doesn’t have to be a lonely experience. With planning, it can be a great experience and opportunity for families and friends to do what they can to support one another.
For more information about resources available to family caregivers, contact Cindy Thieschafer-Karasch at Alternative Senior Care, 1-866-352-3350 or visit the website www.alternativeseniorcare.net.