Being a caregiver for a family member or loved one isn’t an easy job. Having a network of resources to help share the responsibility can make it easier to manage. In the Sarasota area, caregivers have options to help give you short breaks from providing care, long-term solutions if you’re unable to provide care, and regular assistance in or outside of the home.
Being a caregiver can be stressful and could impact your physical and emotional health. Allowing yourself regular, short breaks is one way to stay healthy and keep your energy high, allowing you to give the best care possible to your loved one. Here are just a few options in the Sarasota area, ranging from least to most costly, to help to share the load of caregiving.
Concierge services take the hassle out of running errands and let you avoid the traffic on the roads, especially during season. Services come in many forms, and will do everything from delivering meals to your home from local restaurants to picking up your groceries from your local Publix. Check out local contractors and services in the area, or explore websites like Amazon Prime for options.
Adult day programs provide social and safe places for seniors during the 9 to 5 workday. These facilities are state licensed, and will usually include social activities, meals, and personal care for seniors. Some programs can also accommodate seniors with memory care needs. If you are providing care for someone who has financial assistance through the VA or Medicaid, be sure to check for providers in the network to be reimbursed. Median daily cost in Sarasota (North Port Area): $79.
In-home respite care allows homemaker or home health aides to come into your home and provide services when you are at work or for seniors who are homebound. Median daily cost: $128 for homemaker services, $136 for home health aide.
Residential respite care is available should you ever have a life event arise that makes it impossible to continue to give care to your loved one. This can be a short-term solution, or for a longer period of time. There are a number of assisted living and nursing home options available in Sarasota offering varying levels of care depending on the medical needs of your loved one. Median daily cost of care in Sarasota: $118 for assisted living, $236 for nursing home care.
One of the best places to begin your search for respite options that are best for you and your loved one is through the Florida Department of Elder Affairs website. They have links to numerous resources including services available in the Sarasota area. Another excellent resource is SeniorAdvisor.com. There you will find listings of properties for assisted living or nursing home services along with user reviews, cost comparisons, and ratings based on senior and caregiver experiences with the facility.
Not everyone can relate to the trials and headaches that can come with being a caregiver. Having a support group of peers in your area who are also working through the complications of providing care for a loved one can help you by providing a sounding board and mentorship along the way. Finding the right group with the right vibe is important. Here are a few ways to find a good fit in your area:
The Alzheimer’s Association of the Florida Gulf Coast hosts support groups at dozens of area locations monthly. Seniors and caregivers can come together in person or online to provide fellowship and friendship through the program.
The Senior Friendship Centers offers a variety of monthly support groups at locations in Sarasota, North Sarasota, Venice and North Port. They also provide a journaling group, and a therapy group specifically focused on helping caregivers manage their life transition as a result of becoming a caregiver.
While providing care for a loved one is an important job, sometimes life can get in the way. If you find yourself in a situation where you are no longer able to be the primary caregiver, it’s sometimes difficult to consider alternatives. In both long-term or short-term care transition situations, there are resources to make it easier to find the best live-in caregiver or residential facility for your loved one.
An excellent resource is the Family Caregiver Alliance. They have the staff to assist with coordinating every part of the process, including finding the right facility and the transition for you and your loved one into another care option.
As a caregiver, your health is equally important to that of the loved one you’re caring for. Be mindful of developing burnout, as it can increase your likelihood of developing health issues or depression, and can compromise your ability to give good care. Utilize resources to assist you when you need them, and ask for help to keep both you and your loved one healthy and happy for years to come.
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