Caregiving in Dallas, TX
Caring for a family member is more than a full-time job, and it’s definitely a job for more than one person, no matter how dedicated you are. If you’re a caregiver in the Dallas area, take a few minutes to check out these local resources that can help you and your loved one. Whether you need an occasional break, want someone to share the load on a regular basis, or need someone to take over when you can’t provide care, there are private agencies, public programs and peer support groups that care for the caregiver.
When you need a break (even a little one)
Caregiving is intense work that requires your physical labor, your attention, and your emotions. Giving yourself a regular break each week is a good way to conserve your energy so you can stay healthy and keep providing good care. Here are some options for lightening your workload, in increasing order of cost.
Concierge services are great for keeping you off the roads during rush hour and out of the grocery store during busy times. You can easily save a couple of hours a week by using a concierge service for errands, and save your sanity when you realize you’re out of something important but can’t leave your loved one alone.
Favor.com lets Dallas residents in Uptown, Highland Park, University Park and Preston Hollow book on-demand delivery of fresh meals from local eateries, groceries, personal care items from the drugstore, and more for $5 plus 5% of the item cost and a tip. A competing service, Amazon Prime Now, offers $8 + tip one-hour delivery to Prime subscribers of grocery and pet items, tech supplies, and home goods. Day care, in-home respite care, residential respite care, concierge services
Adult day programs (also called adult day care) are state-licensed programs during the work week that offer seniors a hot lunch, social activities, personal care, and fitness classes. Some programs serve breakfast and snacks, and some are designed to support the needs of seniors with dementia. If your loved one gets VA or Medicaid benefits, look for day programs that are eligible for reimbursement. Some, like Scenario Adult Day Services, are certified for both programs. The median daily cost in Dallas is $68.
In-home respite care can be a stress-saver when your loved one is homebound or you don’t have time to drive them to a day program. You can hire an agency to send a home health aide or homemaker to care for your loved one while you’re at work, at the doctor, or taking a well-earned day off. The median daily cost is $119.
When you need to be away for an extended period of time, especially if your loved one has complex health needs, residential respite care may be the best option for both of you. There are at least a dozen assisted living and nursing home communities in Dallas that provide short-stay respite care, including Brookdale Preston and Signature Pointe. The median daily cost in Dallas is $128 for assisted living, and $215 for a private nursing home room.
Not sure where to begin your search for respite care? The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services respite care finder can help you find nearby in-home or residential care, even in an emergency. You can also find Dallas home care agencies and residential communities on SeniorAdvisor.com and read client and family reviews. Many agencies can send a caregiver the same day you call.
When you need to socialize and “talk shop” with other caregivers
If you’re caregiving and your friends aren’t, you may need some off-duty time with other people who know what it’s like to be on-call for a parent, spouse, or other relative. Try out a few caregiver support groups to find one you “click” with. These are people who understand what you’re going through and can offer informal mentorship and support. Here are some good starting points:
The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Dallas hosts Changing Gears classes and support groups for early-stage dementia patients and their caregivers, online caregiver support groups, and Caregiver’s Day Out drop-off programs at half a dozen Dallas locations.
Jewish Family Service, Greater Dallas hosts two monthly caregiver support groups, at JFS Dallas and at Legacy Willow Bend in Plano. JFS also offers services for families of dementia patients, senior care assessments, transportation, cleaning help, and hot kosher meal delivery to homebound seniors.
The Community Council of Greater Dallas offers many services for Dallas County residents age 60 and up and their caregivers, including benefits counseling, senior care coordination, caregiver support and stress-management classes. CCGD can also help you locate meal-delivery, home-modification, and respite help.
When you’re not able to provide care
When a life event like a new baby, job change or a move makes it impossible for you to provide care, it’s time to look at full-time or live-in home care, assisted living or a skilled nursing facility for your loved one. This can be a very emotional decision, and it can be hard to weigh all your options, other family members’ opinions, and your own sense of responsibility.
If you need help sorting out caregiving issues, the elder support specialists at The Senior Source can put you in touch with local resources for everything from senior transportation to housing. You may also want to hire a geriatric care manager to help you assess your situation, communicate your loved one’s care needs to other family members, and help you develop a care plan. ElderCare Partners is a Senior Source program that delivers fee-for-service senior case management for family caregivers.
Even without a big event thrown into the mix, caregiver burnout can creep up on you over time. Burnout puts you at risk for depression and poor overall health, and it impairs your ability to provide good care. When you’re feeling burned out, asking for help is a must. Reach out to family members, friends, and neighbors. Call your loved one’s doctor and explain the situation. He or she may have recommendations for a change in care, such as moving to a senior community or bringing in home help. And touch base with the caregiver support providers mentioned here to help you and your loved one. You both deserve to be well cared for.
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