It’s not easy being the caregiver for a family member. Some might say it’s a full-time job, and it is a responsibility that should be shared with others. If you’re providing care for a loved one in the Colorado Springs area, consider these local resources to assist you in caring for your loved one. Whether you’re searching for a bit of respite, need regular assistance, or need alternate care options for when you’re unavailable, there are private, public, and peer support available in your area for you.
Caregiving is not easy, it’s work that can dominate your emotions, attention, and demand physical labor. Taking a weekly break is a good way to manage your energy and health to help you continue to provide good care for your loved ones. Here are resources to help manage the workload ranging from lowest to highest financial commitment.
Concierge services can assist with running errands for you when you’re unable to leave the house or want to avoid traffic. Services offer things like delivery from local restaurants, grocery stores, or household supplies, and are contracted locally through providers in your area. Check out sites like Amazon Prime to get you started.
Adult day programs, or adult day care, are programs licensed by the state that provide a safe and monitored place for seniors to go during the workweek. They will usually provide social activities, meals, and personal care and can often times accommodate seniors with memory care needs. Some programs are eligible for VA or Medicaid reimbursement, so if your loved one receives benefits, look for a program in that network. Median daily cost in Colorado Springs: $75.
In-home respite care can be a solution when your loved one isn’t able to leave the home or time constraints prevent you from driving them to a day program. In-home agencies can be hired to send a homemaker or home health aide to take care of your loved one while you’re at work or away from home for needed respite. Median daily cost: $135.
Residential respite care is an option for when you need an extended break or time away from a loved one, especially if they have a variety of health needs. There are over two dozen nursing home and assisted living communities in Colorado Springs, many of which offer short-term respite care. Median daily cost in Colorado Springs: $145 for assisted living, $225 for nursing home care.
Unsure of how to start your search for respite care? The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment has a link to facility directories and safety reports in the area to assist you with finding care nearby. SeniorAdvisor.com also provides a listing of residential communities and in-home care agencies with star-ratings and reviews of properties in the area.
Sometimes it’s valuable to spend time with like-minded peers who are also facing the stresses of caregiving for a parent, spouse, or loved one. Visit a few caregiver support groups in your area to find one with a vibe you like and people you connect with. These groups can offer support and mentorship from people who understand your challenges. Here are a few organizations to contact to get started:
The Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado in Denver hosts support groups and classes for caregivers and dementia patients at locations throughout the service area, as well as provides online resources support groups for caregivers.
The United Way of El Paso County has a directory of support groups in the area, divided by disease type to make it easy to find like-minded caregivers nearby.
Life events may arise that make it impossible for you to continue to be a caregiver. When it’s time to explore full-time care options like in-home care or an assisted facility, it can be an emotional process.
For assistance working through caregiving needs, staff at the Family Caregiver Alliance can help you reach out to local providers for every need from transportation to housing. Specific to Colorado, the Denver Area Agency on Aging offers a network of care and services for seniors and has a staff to assist family members with care transitions.
Caregivers should be aware that developing burnout can happen over time while caring for a loved one. Burnout can contribute to depression and health issues in a caregiver, and will eventually impair your ability to be an effective caregiver. It’s important to ask for help if you start to feel overwhelmed. Friends, family, neighbors and your loved one's doctor may offer assistance or recommendations to help you manage the stress. Be sure to utilize support providers to help both you and your loved one get the care you deserve.
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