For families that enter the world of senior caregiving, there seem to be more questions than answers. Unless they know someone who can guide them along the way, senior caregiving is a system of trial and error. Caregivers struggle with how often to visit seniors to make sure that they are properly cared for, while not making them feel like others are encroaching in an invasive way. Finding provider resources and the financial resources to support them seems like an endless maze. Senior services in Richmond, VA are plentiful. Caregivers need education about senior caregiver, support, respite, and knowledge about senior supportive systems.
Seniors care for their children and grandchildren when they are young and in good health. As the senior’s health begins to decline, roles begin to reverse and adult children become the primary caregivers. Often, the physical adjustment to becoming a senior caregiver is easier than the emotional toll that comes with role-reversal. Caregivers need help, but they don’t always know what kind of help they need or where to get it. Counseling, support groups, and training are good sources of helping adult children process their feelings about moving into this new phase of life. Here are some resources that offer support for caregivers in Richmond:
Senior Connections - an organization that provides information for caregivers, assistance with accessing other supportive services, individual counseling, support groups, training to help with problem-solving and decision making, respite care, assistive technology, and emergency response systems.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - for veterans who need a caregiver, the federal government offers programs for caregivers of veterans. These programs include a caregiver support line, caregiver coordinator, peer support, and respite. The caregiver support line is (855)-260-3274. The Richmond Vet Center is located at 4902 Fitzhugh Ave., Richmond, VA, 23230. The phone number is (804)-353-8958.
There are organizations that offer education, support, and senior service directories. These organizations serve as a good starting point for researching an array of services. It’s sort of one-stop shopping for most of the caregiver services that a caregiver may need. This helps caregivers get the most important services in place first and buys them a little time to search other sites for services they still need. Most of the services can be arranged online or via the phone. Caregivers should interview and meet any people that will have direct contact with the senior. Here are some sites that offer a range of senior caregiving information and services:
SeniorAdvisor.com - Find listings of in-home caregivers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and Alzheimer’s care. Browse services by type, check ratings, read reviews, find senior care providers and service professionals, and check prices.
Virginia Easy Access - a state site of senior supports including adult day care, respite care, companion services, homemaker services, meal delivery, transportation, and personal care services.
Richmond caregivers can choose from private or public transportation senior services. Some of the services are free and some charge a fee. Before enlisting the help of a transportation service, caregivers should prepare a list of questions. Ask what days and hours the service runs. You should also ask what the fees are and if there are any discount programs or reduced fees for seniors. Inquire about whether the vehicles are wheelchair accessible and if seniors can get help entering or exiting the vehicle. Find out if there are limitations on how far the service will transport seniors.
Eliminate transportation providers that don’t fit the parameters of the senior’s needs. For example, if the senior wants to attend a religious service, you’ll need a transportation service that operates on Sundays or whatever day the religious service is held. Senior Connections offers a comprehensive list of public and private senior transportation services.
Burnout among senior caregivers is a common problem. Even the most dedicated caregiver can suffer from stress and exhaustion. Caregivers don’t need to do it all and they don’t need to do it alone. Those who care for seniors full-time or for many hours of the day may need to continue performing the duties they enjoy the most and leave some of the tasks to professional caregivers. For example, a family member may want to perform duties with regard to personal caregiving — dressing, washing, hygiene, but hire a transport service to take the senior to doctor’s appointments and other errands. This gives the caregiver a break while still allowing them to be the main caregiver. Have willingness to receive help and get the right kind of help in place.
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