family caregivers

When Family Caregivers Are Not Enough

Sometimes an elderly loved one needs more care that a family member can provide.  When you reach the point of needing more care differs with every family.  We all have different skills, time available, available space in our home and other factors.  Family caregivers for elderly relatives are considered essential for many families.  Making the transition to seeking professional help can be emotionally difficult.

There are several questions to address before deciding to hire outside help.

One of the most important questions may concern your loved one’s living situation.  Does your loved one want to continue to live in his or her home, and if so, are family caregivers able to provide the necessary support?  If the answer is no, then remaining reliant on you as a family caregiver may not be enough.  It could be time to seek professional caregiving assistance if you cannot move into your loved one’s home or be there enough to care for him or her, even if there is a desperate desire to remain in the home.

If your loved one has minor ailments to do with age, the help of a family caregiver may be sufficient. 

Minor ailments, however, can multiply or turn into major ones.  If your loved one begins to need daily medical treatment, or the help of a skilled medical professional, like a nurse or home health aide, then continuing to rely solely on a family caregiver may be insufficient.  In particular, if your loved one develops a chronic condition and needs assistance with daily living activities, like cooking and bathing, a professional caregiver whose job is to help him or her could be the best thing for both you and your loved one.

It may be understandable for an adult child, niece or nephew or other family caregiver to want to provide care for an elderly family member for as long as possible. 

Sometimes, however, the stress of taking on the sole burden of providing this care can become overwhelming.  If you work outside the home, it can be impossible to juggle caregiving for your family member and your paid job.  Even if you do not work outside the home, if you have small children to care for yourself, balancing the two can be very tough.   This, in and of itself, may be a valid reason to seek professional caregiving assistance for your loved one.

If your loved one is a veteran, the VA can provide a limited amount of help in the home. 

You will need to first document the veteran or “get him (or her) in the system.”  This can be done through filing a Form 1010EZ.  This will be followed by an assessment visit at your local clinic to determine the veteran’s needs.

In some situations, a loved one who is returning home from a hospital/rehab stay may be able to access benefits in the home. 

This can be done through a Medicaid home and community-based service program.  There would need to be consideration as to whether he or she meets the program requirements for Medicaid such as asset and income limitations.

If your loved one has a Long-Term Care Policy, this may be the time to consider tapping those benefits. 

You will need advice on when they meet the policy requirements to access benefits.  There will usually be an elimination period during which your loved one must meet the requirements for triggering the policy benefits but be required to wait before receiving reimbursement.

Southwest Florida is blessed with many home care providers. 

You might want advice in choosing the right care providers for your situation. We usually recommend agencies, which employ their caregivers as employees, instead of registries.  Registries treat their caregivers as independent contractors.  So if you have a problem with a caregiver there are no insurance policies or bonding through the employer to go after.

If you are nearing a decision point on a family caregiving situation, you can call our firm to discuss your needs.  For a free telephone consultation, call 239-434-8557.

Join us for a free Webinar on Dec. 2, 2020 where we will have special guest Patti Raco-Treamer discussing private duty home care.

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