If you’re just starting to be a caregiver for a family member, you might be wondering what you are supposed to do or what happens next. If you’ve been a long-time caregiver, perhaps you have started to see the toll this job has taken on your mental and physical well-being. No matter the case, there are resources here in Wichita that you can take advantage of to make your life less stressful. Making sure you avoid burnout in order to provide the best care possible is important. This guide can help point you in the right direction.
Even the most dedicated caregiver needs to take a break, and chances are there are other things that you have to get done on top of your caregiving duties. These services below can help you out when you need just a little extra support throughout the day.
Adult Day Care: This is a great option when you just need a break for the day or need to be away from your loved one for a few hours. Adult day care programs provide supervision, stimulation, and medical attention for seniors who can’t be alone, but have no other place to go.
A place like Via Christi HOPE Adult Day Health Program offers services such as therapy programs, social programs, and nutrition programs. You will also be assigned a social worker as a part of your care team so that they can make sure all your needs are met while you are at the center. You can call to see if the program you choose accepts Medicaid or VA benefits and generally these programs will cost about $100 per day.
Concierge Services: If your to-do list is too overwhelming for you to handle on your own, then concierge services might be your biggest help. These services can help you with things like picking up your groceries, walking your dog, picking up your dry cleaning, and any other errand you might need to complete.
Companies in the area like A Matter Of Time can help you with a variety of services like errand running, taking care of a pet, or even picking up your children from school. These services come in different packages so you can choose the one that fits your needs. Concierge services free up your time so you can focus on caregiving.
Respite Care: If you’re loved one isn’t able to leave their home, and you can’t take care of them during the day due to an appointment or work, respite care is a great option. This service allows you to hire a health aide to come to your home and provide your loved one with care while you are away or even in the house doing other things. You can expect to pay around $18 per hour for in-home respite care.
You also have the option of residential respite care if you need to be away for longer than a day or your family member has had surgery or an illness that requires more medical attention than you can give. You can turn to the National Respite Network to find out all about respite care in Kansas, and in Wichita in particular.
Even if you feel like you can handle all your caregiving duties with ease, it’s still helpful to have a strong support system so you don’t suffer from burnout. This also gives you the chance to connect with other people who have gone through this or are in the midst of it like you. It will make you a better caregiver and make sure your well-being is managed.
The Alzheimer’s Association has an excellent support group system and the local Kansas chapter provides a list of different groups that meet throughout the area. These groups are for both people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
Through the Central Plains Area Agency on Aging, you can find a whole list of caregiver resources from support groups to counseling to caregiver services like respite and housekeeping.
You can also find a list of various support groups on the Southwest Kansas Area Agency on Aging’s website. There are caregiver groups as well as groups for different diseases that you might have to deal with in your job.
It is completely normal for the type of care provided to change over time, and there is no reason for you to feel bad if you can’t provide the necessary care. Burnout is a common problem among caregivers and it’s important not only for your health but the health of your loved one to make sure that you take care of yourself. In some cases that might mean hiring a full-time health aide or placing your family member into a skilled nursing facility.
Since this can be a stressful time with a lot of changes, you can feel overwhelmed with the amount of choices and decisions you need to make. A geriatric manager can be invaluable during these times. Geriatric care managers can help make big decisions easier and coordinate every part of your loved one’s care plan. Keystone Support Services are based in Wichita and can help you with assisted living placement, in-home care, and even guardianship problems.
You can also talk with doctors, nurses, and other health specialists that work with you and your family to see if they have recommendations for your loved one’s care. Don’t feel guilty if you have to give up duties, if that is what is best for you and your family.
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