Caring for a loved one can leave you feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and isolated. You may begin helping your parents with small tasks and eventually, this can lead to swapping roles as you help them more with daily activities like dressing, bathing, meal prep, and running errands.
This increase in care is both rewarding and problematic as you try to juggle senior care with a family and a career. Whether you need time away to recharge or you need a listening ear and advice, San Francisco offers you plenty of options.
Taking time out for yourself is not selfish, it is necessary as a family caregiver, especially if you are providing around-the-clock care. Respite programs are available in the city and surrounding areas.
If you need to take time off, in-home respite care is an easy option. Several companies exist in San Francisco that employ screened, trained, insured, and bonded home health aides. These aides can assist with daily tasks including light housekeeping and laundry. Companies such as Senior Helpers of San Francisco help with medication reminders, mobility assistance, and incidental transportation, grocery shopping, and caring for pets. The median daily rate for a home health aide in the San Francisco for eight hours of care is $224, according to the 2015 Genworth Cost of Care Survey for California.
Residential respite care is available at assisted living communities and nursing homes in the city. Using these facilities for short-term stays will give you and your loved one an idea of the type of care that can be received during a long-term stay if ever needed. The communities are diverse and you can find one to match your loved one’s personality and lifestyle.
Communities such as Vintage Golden Gate provide needed care and services as well as keep nurses on staff, provide beauty and barber services, meals and dining, and have indoor and outdoor common areas in a luxurious setting. The median daily rate for a private room in a skilled nursing facility is $480 and $150 per day for a one bedroom apartment in an assisted living facility.
If you only need help providing care while you go to work, an adult day program may be a better option for you. Programs like The City of South San Francisco Adult Day Care provide your loved one with supervision and assistance with daily tasks while also giving them a chance to socialize and make new friends. Most centers offer structured activity programs with special guests and events, arts and crafts, exercise, cognitive activities, and entertainment. Meals are served and some programs offer transportation to and from the center. In San Francisco, the average daily rate for an adult day program is $76.
Sometimes it is necessary for a caregiver to get away for a bit and speak to other caregivers going through the same challenges. The SF Bay Area Services for Family Caregivers provides workshops, retreats, and classes for caregivers to network with each other and learn about health conditions, behaviors, and how to cope with stress. They also offer both online and in-person support groups. The in-person groups meet once a month to share advice and experiences.
The University of California at San Francisco offers a Memory and Aging Center that provides support in the form of group meetings focused on a particular disorder. These groups meet once or twice a month, depending on the group.
Seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease require intensive care and family caregivers should seek support as early as possible to learn more about what to expect and how to cope. The Alzheimer’s Association provides caregiver support groups in San Francisco through the Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter. Several groups meet in the county about once a month. Meetings times are subject to change so make sure you call or email the contact listed before attending.
Using a residential respite care facility can help prepare you and your loved one for a transition into intensive care. Sometimes the stress and responsibility become too much of a burden for one person. Speak with other family members about sharing the responsibility. If that is not an option, consider in-home care or the move into an assisted living community or skilled nursing facility. Senior care advisors can help assist you in finding the perfect home and care for your loved one.
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