Caregivers are important people in many senior’s lives, especially when they are family members. These people dedicate their time and energy to make sure their loved one’s needs are met, physically, mentally, and emotionally. It can be a difficult job, and many family caregivers work without pay, but there are resources out there. If you’re a caregiver and need extra assistance or even a break, you should consider the many opportunities Tulsa has for you.
Caregiving is a job that doesn’t get a break. You’re always on and ready to help your family member out when they need it. However, it’s important to take little breaks even if it’s just every once in a while. Breaks let you recharge and lower your stress levels so you can avoid caregiver burnout. Here are just a few ways you can use caregiver assistance to take a rest.
Concierge services have grown in popularity among seniors because they take care of things that take time and energy. Caregivers can use concierge services to help them throughout the day, so they don’t have to take any time away from their loved one. Whether you forgot to pick up groceries or don’t have a chance to clean your house, you can find a provider online to fit your needs.
One of these providers is TaskRabbit. This online service allows you to hire people in your neighborhood to do various tasks. Those tasks could include dropping off your dry cleaning, taking your car to the shop, or even helping you build furniture. No matter what you need, you can find assistance through TaskRabbit. Rover.com is another great service and helps you find local pet sitters and dog walkers that fit into your price range.
Adult day care programs are great options for caregivers that need to be gone during the day or have an appointment they need to attend. Adult day care gives seniors a place to go where there are supervision and structure. Many programs have meals, activities, and chances to socialize with other seniors and you can choose a program that caters to specific needs like Alzheimer’s. Programs like Oasis Senior Services even have caregiver support resources in addition to their adult day care. Programs in Tulsa usually average around $65 per day.
If you or your family member can’t or don’t need to leave your home, but you still need a break, in-home respite care is a convenient option. Homemakers and home health aides will come to your house to take care of things like chores and cooking meals or help you care for your loved one with medication reminders, getting in and out of their wheelchair, and personal grooming tasks. These services average between $125 and $138 daily.
Finally, if you need to be away from your family member for longer than a day, residential respite care is an option. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities like The Villages at Southern Hill and Ambassador Courtyards allow seniors to stay short-term until their caregivers return. You can rest easy knowing they have 24/7 supervision and the staff handles emergencies quickly.
If you want to look around for respite care programs in your area, LIFE Senior Services is a great place to start. They have listings of local programs along with other resources for both caregivers and seniors. SeniorAdvisor.com is also a good place to start your search because you can look at reviews from users and family members.
It is much harder to be the sole caregiver, but all too often that’s just what happens. If no one in your circle of friends has any experience being a caregiver, it can be difficult to talk about the struggles and frustrations you go through. Support groups offer you a chance to meet with others in your situation. You can talk about daily stressors, learn new information, and give each other the support you need to do your job.
Tulsa is the home of the Oklahoma chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. You can find so many resources through the Association to help you with caregiving. There are support groups that meet throughout the week, and if you can’t make it to a meeting, you can always join an online support group. They also have a 24/7 helpline you can call whenever you need extra support or assistance.
LIFE Senior Services also offers a caregiver support group. Three different groups meet, usually on a Tuesday or a Thursday. These groups are for any caregiver, but someone from the Alzheimer’s Association facilitates each one. You can call each contact person to learn more about the details of the support group.
The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services also offers support groups. There are a few groups that are explicitly for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients, but there are also regular caregiver support groups. You can check their calendar for dates, times, and locations.
While you’re able to care for your loved one now, that might not always be the case. There is a chance their condition could worsen, and you no longer have the means or skills to take care of them. You could also experience a significant change or life event like getting married, moving away, or having a baby. In each of these cases, it might be a good idea to consider moving your loved one into an assisted living facility or nursing home. It can be a tough decision, and there is a lot to think about with this type of transition.
A geriatric care manager can help with this transition and even just help you with your caregiving duties. Care managers will assess each situation to see what is working and what isn’t and then come up with a plan to make things easier. Geriatric care managers can also help you manage your care schedule, so you know when your family member needs to go to appointments or what type of aid is coming that day. Again, LIFE Senior Services has geriatric care management services.
You also need to be aware of caregiver burnout because it happens to so many caregivers. If you work day in and day out and never take a break, you might burn yourself out. Burnout can be a dangerous situation because it can lead to depression and other health problems. If you feel like you’ve reached burnout, reach out to your doctor to figure out a course of action. You can also call in support from your friends and family members and find ways to share the burden of caregiving. Once you are 100%, you will be able to take care of your loved one fully.
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