Family caregiving is a huge responsibility. This person meets the needs of an aging family member. The care provided can include small tasks like running errands or grocery shopping. As the family member ages, those small tasks may morph into activities of daily living (ADLs) that many people take for granted. These activities include:
Bathing, grooming, and dressing Meal preparation, cooking, and eating Mobility Remembering to take medications and going to appointments Transportation Housekeeping and laundry
If this describes you as a family caregiver, you are not alone. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, there are more than 65.7 million caregivers in the U.S. The good news is that with so many people assuming this role in their lives, more support and resources are available than ever before.
In-home respite care allows your senior to remain comfortable in their home while an aide comes to them. This is a great option if your loved one has trouble with mobility. In-home care companies provide home health aides that are screened thoroughly before employment. The aides are trained, insured, and bonded to help relieve any misgivings you may have about having a stranger in your home.
The aides assist your loved one with the ADLs as well as provide much-needed companionship. Companies, like Senior Helpers, can run errands and perform grocery shopping, if needed. In Tucson, the average cost of employing a home health aide for eight hours of respite care is $168, according to the Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey for Arizona.
If you need a break to rest and recharge your batteries, an adult day care center (known as an adult day program), can assist your loved one with ADLs within a structured community-based program. These programs offer entertainment, activities, field trips, guest speakers, and special events. Some centers, like New Challenge Day Center, feature activities like music therapy, movies, and a botanical garden.
Adult day care centers are one of the least expensive alternatives. It is $79 per day on average in Tucson.
If you are planning a vacation or just need a few days off, residential respite care at an assisted living facility or nursing home, could give you that needed break. These facilities consist of diverse communities bonded by lifestyles, hobbies, or interests. The majority of facilities offer majestic views and outdoor common areas to enjoy the Arizona weather.
Facilities, like The Fountains at La Cholla, meet the needs of your loved one as well as provide meals, activities on-site, indoor common areas, complimentary transportation, and devotional services. Other communities will make allowance for small pets, provide physical, occupational, and speech therapies, and keep both a doctor and nurse on call.
The median daily rate for a one bedroom unit in an assisted living facility in Tucson is $125. A private room in a nursing home is $249 per day on average.
Using a residential respite care facility can help you and your loved one adjust to a transition into long-term care when needed.
Building a network of support, while caregiving, is critical to staying informed and managing stress. Other caregivers may lend their coping strategies and share their experiences with you. The PCOA Pima Council on Aging sponsors Family Caregiver Support Groups. The North Tucson group meets the second Thursday of each month. You can learn more by calling (520)-609-1271.
The Alzheimer’s Association sponsors caregiver support groups as well for those caring for seniors with the disease. The Desert Southwest Chapter serves Tucson through the Southern Arizona Regional Office. Several groups meet in Tucson once a month. Check with the local office about meeting days and times as these are subject to change.
The Arizona Caregiver Coalition can support you with free resources and networking opportunities. You can call 1-888-737-7494 to locate a support group near you or join one online at the Arizona Caregiver Coalition website.
Many assisted living communities and nursing homes offer aging in place to keep your loved one in the same community as their health needs change. If you are currently using a residential respite care facility, speak with the senior care advisor about your loved one receiving full-time care. Your family physician may also be able to provide recommendations based on your loved ones needs.
Trying to juggle caring for an aged family member, as well as nurturing a career and raising children, can be stressful. Don’t wait too long before seeking help. Tucson offers its residents various resources for support.
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