While senior caregivers make a commitment to caring for an aging loved one, often they experience a high degree of stress and burnout. In addition to caring for a loved one, they still have to manage their own households and take care of their own health. It can be difficult to find the balance between them.
In addition to managing their own lives, they also feel the burden of coordinating care for an aging senior. In a 2009 AARP study on caregiving in the United States, 35% of caregivers reported that they had a high burden of difficulty in coordinating care for their loved one.
The central valley area of California developed the Central Valley Regional Center as a resource for residents of Fresno and other residents of the central valley region.
The Central Valley Regional Center offers an online resource for a regional Network of Care so that seniors and people with disabilities find an open door to the types of services that they need most. Rather than doing hours of research on their own, the Central Valley Regional Center provides education and resources for families so that they can quickly find the services they need.
The center provides a variety of programs including vocational training, employment assistance, and on-the-job support for seniors who are able to work during retirement.
For caregivers who need a break, there are eight adult day care programs in the Fresno area and 28 more adult day care programs in the surrounding area. Adult day care programs generally operate Monday through Friday with hours during the normal workday. Caregivers may arrange for drop off for one or more days during that time.
Adult day programs typically include some basic medical care and medication management, which are administered by qualified nursing or medical staff. Participants in adult day care programs have the opportunity to participate in art, music, dance, yoga, exercise, and other activities. Such programs also provide the opportunity for socialization and brain stimulating activities.
Fresno area facilities also offer respite for families that need a break that lasts longer than a day or if they have a family emergency.
Family caregivers often struggle with paying for senior care as much as they struggle under the burden of giving care. Adult day care programs start about $20 per day. Depending upon the type and level of services, costs can run up to $100 per day. Adult day care programs accept private pay and many of them charge based upon a sliding scale according to the family’s income. Other sources of funding that may fund adult day programs are Medicaid, the Veteran’s Administration, and the Older Americans Act. Caregivers should know that Medicare would not fund adult day care or respite care.
While caregivers may find it difficult to pay for adult day care services, they often find that the payoff in their own health and well-being is worth any costs.
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