Family caregivers often do their job without pay and many times without help. Trying to care for someone alone is a difficult task and in most cases, not necessary. Oakland has plenty of resources to assist you with your duties, and many of them can give you the support you need to keep doing your job. There is no shame in admitting you need help and in fact, it will make you a better caregiver for your loved one. Here are a few ways that you can find help with caregiving in Oakland.
You might be able to provide full care for your loved one which is great, but it can take a toll. You should be present every moment of every day, and that is stressful. It’s important to take breaks so you can recharge, but during those breaks, your family member still needs care. These are just a few ways you can still care for your family and get the break you need.
Many seniors and caregivers turn to concierge services to help them out with chores and errands. Online providers allow easy access to services no matter when or where you need them. These types of services give you the chance to devote your full attention to your family and not worry about things like cleaning your house or picking up the groceries.
TaskRabbit is a concierge service that helps you find someone to assist you in your daily errands. You can hire someone to pick up your dry cleaning, wait for the cable guy to come to your house, or help you organize your messiest room. Rover.com is another great site that can help you find local dog walkers or pet sitters. Just enter your location and price range and then find the best match.
Adult day care programs are helpful if you need to be away for a short period or work during the day. These programs give seniors a place to go where they can socialize with others, have a meal, participate in activities, and even go on field trips. The Bay Area Community Services offers an adult day care program in two locations, including Oakland. Many programs can also be tailored to fit the needs of seniors with Alzheimer’s. The average daily cost of adult day care in the Bay area is around $79.
You can also use in-home residential respite care if you’re gone during the day or need a little break. This type of care is nice for seniors that can’t or don’t want to leave their homes. Either a homemaker or home health aide will come over to assist with things like housecleaning, meal preparation, transportation to appointments, and personal grooming. These types of services cost about $157 per day.
Residential respite care is also an option, especially if you need to be away for an extended period, like on vacation. Assisted living facilities and nursing homes like Grand Lake Gardens and Pacifica Senior Living let seniors stay short-term while their caregivers are gone. They will receive around the clock care, and if they have Alzheimer’s or other diseases, nurses and doctors on staff will monitor their condition. This kind of attention can be a little pricier and assisted living facilities average $131 per day, and nursing homes average between $282 and $350 daily.
If you want to find other respite care programs in Oakland, you can use the Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP). Through MSSP, a social worker will come to your house and assess your family members needs and help you get access to local respite care. You can also search SeniorAdvisor.com and look at user reviews which help you get a feel for the place and staff.
Being a caregiver can often feel isolating, especially if you have no extra help. There is no one to talk to about what you’re dealing with, and that can lead to things like caregiver burnout. It’s important to find support among other caregivers and support groups are a fantastic way to do that. There are meetings throughout Oakland as well as online, and they all give you a chance to communicate with people in your same position.
Through the Northern California chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, you can find numerous support groups in your neighborhood. These groups meet at different times throughout the week, so you should be able to find one that works for your schedule. A few of the groups also offer respite care, so you don’t have to leave your family member alone. If you can’t meet in person, there is also a large online community for caregivers through the association.
You can find even more support groups through the Family Education and Resource Center. FERC lists all the family support groups in Alameda County along with additional resources if you need help with your duties.
East Bay Times has a list of support groups in the East Bay area including Oakland. You can find support groups for caregivers as well as caregivers of specific diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and those going through a period of grief.
There comes a time for many family caregivers when they can no longer take care of their loved ones. Perhaps you got a new job, had to move across the country, or just had a baby and can no longer commit the same amount of time to care. There is also a chance that your loved one’s condition has gotten worse and your care is no longer adequate. In these cases, an assisted living facility or nursing home is probably the best option.
A geriatric care manager can help you sort through all your caregiving problems and needs. They can assist you in finding the best solution for your situation and will make sure all transitions and changes go smoothly. Even if you can still be a caregiver, a geriatric care manager can be a useful resource. The Jewish Family and Community Services offers geriatric care managers and will start with an in-home assessment to provide the best care.
Finally, caregiver burnout is a real thing, and if you experience this, it can make it very tough to look after your family member properly. Burnout is just one reason taking regular breaks and asking for help are so important for caregivers. If you’re experiencing this issue, don’t hesitate to reach out to family members and friends for support. You can ask for help with your duties, explain some of your stress, and even talk with a doctor to come up with a better plan for self-care. Don’t feel guilty or selfish for taking care of yourself because, in the end, that is what will allow you to give your family the best care.
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