A caregiver provides vital support for seniors by taking care of all their needs, often for most of the day. Family caregivers do this usually without any pay. Caregiving is a demanding job, and all too often caregivers try to do it alone without any support. If you’re trying to do your best to take care of your family member but feel like you need extra help, don’t worry and don’t feel guilty. There are plenty of resources available in Saint Paul that can make your job easier and make you a more effective caregiver.
You might feel like you always need to be on because caregiving is often a 24/7 job. It’s important to remember to take short breaks so you can recharge and come back to your duties ready to care. There are a few different ways you can get help with your job whether it’s hiring someone to look after your house when you can’t or having someone help you with your family member so you can step away for a little bit. Here are just a few of your options.
Concierge services are an easy way to solve a lot of problems that might come with being a caregiver. There are times when you’re going to need to run errands or do chores, but if you’re the only one providing care, that might seem impossible. Online concierge services allow you to search for whatever you need whether that’s help keeping your house clean or someone to run your many errands.
You can search for providers that offer a variety of concierge services, or you can use sites like TaskRabbit that allow you to hire local people for help. You can use TaskRabbit to find someone to pick up your groceries, clean your house, or pick up your dry cleaning. Rover.com assists you with all your pet needs. You can enter your price range and then find local dog walkers and pet sitters to help you out.
Sometimes you must be away from your caregiving duties, and that’s when adult day care programs are useful. You can drop your senior family member off, and they will get supervision while taking part in activities and social opportunities. Many programs will also have a meal included and programs like Cerenity Senior Care Adult Day Center offers half-day programs. You can find a program that will cater to specific needs like Alzheimer’s and many will have a nurse on staff to handle emergencies. Adult day care averages around $80 per day in Saint Paul.
In-home respite care services allow you to take a break while you and your loved one stay at home. You can have a homemaker come in to take care of your house and chores like cleaning and meal preparation. Home health aides can take over caregiving duties and many are nurses that are trained to handle things like personal grooming and medication reminders. These services can range from $157 to $182 per day in Saint Paul.
If you know you need to be away from your duties for longer than a few days, residential respite care might be the right choice. Many assisted living facilities and nursing homes like New Perspective Senior Living and Bentson Family Assisted Living offer seniors short-term stays while their caregivers are away. You can rest easy knowing that a team of nurses and doctors will care for your loved one. If any emergency pops up, it will be handled by these professionals. Assisted living facilities in Saint Paul cost around $131 per day and nursing homes cost between $224 and $245 daily.
You can search for more respite care options through the Minnesota Board on Aging. They also have a ton of resources for caregivers including local resources, tips, and workshops you can attend. SeniorAdvisor.com is also a great place to look for respite care programs because you can read reviews of local facilities. The reviews are from family members and can help you get a sense of the environment before you visit.
Even with breaks, it can feel a little lonely being a caregiver. If you’re the only one in your social group that takes care of an elderly family member, you might not have anyone you can talk to about your frustrations. Support groups give you the opportunity to connect with other caregivers in your area and talk about anything from daily stress to better techniques on caring. Even if you can’t make it to a local meeting, there are plenty of online communities.
The Alzheimer’s Association is a great resource for caregivers. The Minnesota chapter offers a few local support groups; you can search their community calendar for dates and meeting times. They also have a 24/7 helpline and online support groups if you have an emergency or can’t make it out of the house.
Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota has a variety of support groups that meet throughout the state. You can find local groups by contacting your local area coordinator. You can also find a lot of other caregiver resources through LSSM including counseling services, respite care programs, workshops, and classes. Just check with the area coordinator to learn more details.
Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging has caregiver resources that can be helpful. There are support groups, consultants, educational opportunities, and respite care programs.
There are several reasons you might not be able to care for your loved one any longer. Big life events like moving, getting a new job or having a baby might mean you need to focus your attention on other things. There is also a chance your family member's condition might progress to a point where you can no longer provide adequate care. While it’s a tough decision, an assisted living facility or nursing home could be the best option in these situations.
One person who might be able to help you through this time is a geriatric care manager. These professionals can look at your situation and assess the needs of you and your family. From that assessment, they will be able to create a care plan that fits everyone’s needs and schedule. Care managers can make it easy to manage all care programs, learn about payment options, and in general, make sure everything is going well. You can find care managers at places likes Keystone Care Consultants.
Caregiver burnout can be a serious issue, especially if you rarely take a break or do everything on your own. Burnout can lead to more serious problems such as depression, and it can be bad for your overall health. If you reach this point, take the time to contact your doctor to help figure out ways you can care for yourself. Your friends and family can also help with caregiving duties as well as give you support. It isn’t selfish to take care of yourself because that’s how you can be a better caregiver.
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