Family caregivers often provide a full array of services for their elderly loved one all at no cost. Many caregivers are also unaware of all the support and services they can use to help make their jobs easier. If you’re a caregiver for a loved one and feel like you need some extra assistance, there are plenty of resources here in New Orleans. You can find services to let you take a break, connect with other caregivers, and decide whether it’s time to let someone else take over being a caregiver.
Sometimes as a caregiver, all you need is just a short break once a week or even once a day. Instead of just pushing through the stress, you can turn to a few services that will help you out. There are home services that can assist you with chores and errands as well as care services that will help you take care of your family member while you rest. Don’t feel guilty asking for help because it can make you a better caregiver in the long run.
Chores, errands and other daily tasks tend to pile up when you focus your attention on someone else. Concierge services can be a big help if you need an extra hand around the house. Online platforms have grown over the years, and if you have access to the internet, you can find help for everything you need. These services allow you to take care of your loved one without wasting time do things like cleaning your house or running errands.
Rover.com is an example of a simple online service that can be a big help. All you do is enter your price range, and Rover.com will come back with a list of local dog walkers and pet sitters. If you have a bunch of random chores or errands to accomplish, but no time, TaskRabbit can help out. This site allows you to hire local people to do your chores like organize your house, pick up groceries, or even take your car to get serviced.
Adult day care programs are beneficial to seniors that need a place to go during the day. Perhaps you need to work during the day or must go to an appointment; adult day care can help supervise your loved one while you’re away. These programs often include one meal, sometimes snacks, and have activities like fitness classes or daily outings. Some programs like Catholic Charities of New Orleans offer care for Alzheimer’s patients as well. The daily cost of adult day care is around $60.
In-home respite care can help you in a few different ways. A homemaker can come in to take care of things like cleaning your house, doing your laundry, and planning or preparing meals. You can also have a home health aide come in and take over caring for your family member. They will handle medication reminders, personal grooming tasks, and getting around the house in a wheelchair or walker. The average daily cost for these services in New Orleans is $103.
You can also use residential respite care especially if you need to be away for a longer time. Assisted living facilities and nursing homes allow seniors who need the care to stay in their location short-term. They will get the full benefits of living in a skilled nursing facility and can leave once you return. The cost for these programs in assisted living facilities cost $125 per day and in a nursing home costs between $170 and $187 per day.
Good Samaritan Rehab and Nursing Center and Unity Nursing and Rehab Center are just two of the locations in the area that offer these services, but you can find more programs through the New Orleans Council on Aging and the Family Caregiver Support Program. You can also search SeniorAdvisor.com to find facilities with respite and read user reviews so you can get a feel for the place.
As a caregiver, it’s important not to isolate yourself even though it’s very easy to do. It’s simple to continually focus on your family member without taking the time to socialize, but if you do that you could run into troubles with burnout. Support groups are an excellent way to get a short break from your duties and talk with other caregivers. You can learn more about caregiving, share your frustrations, and get support from people who have been in your shoes.
The Alzheimer’s Association offers three different types of support groups in New Orleans. You can find a local group that usually meets once or twice a month at various times. If you can’t find a group near you or can’t make it out of the house, you can join an online support group as well as visit the caregiver blog and resource center. You can also call at any time of the night or day and find help and support through the 24/7 phone line.
The Diocese of Baton Rouge also offers caregiver support throughout the area. Their website has helpful links, and you can search for support groups in your area. They also have resources for every aspect of caring for an aging loved one.
Hospice Associates created a list of support groups throughout Louisiana. You can find a few groups in New Orleans, most of which are free. All you should do is call the contact person to learn more information about the group.
You might have to make the tough decision to stop caregiving at some point. There are several reasons this might happen like moving across the country, experiencing burnout, having a new baby, or no longer being able to provide adequate care. You shouldn’t feel guilty if any of these things happen, it doesn’t mean you have failed. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities can help in these situations, and you should find one that fits your loved one’s needs.
During this time, a geriatric care manager can be a big help. These types of managers can take care of everything that is involved with your family member’s caregiving needs. They can assess their needs, decide what kind of care would be best, and coordinate a schedule that works for everyone. They can even help you with payment options and plans. Many home care providers like Home Care Solutions also offer the services of a care manager.
You also need to be on the lookout for signs of caregiver burnout because it can lead to serious health issues like depression. If you feel like you just can’t be a caregiver any longer, it’s time to reach out for support from your family as well as friends. Your doctor can also help and even give suggestions on steps to take to alleviate your burnout. No matter what you do, don’t feel selfish or guilty for taking care of your needs. Once you’re 100%, you will be a much better caregiver.
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