The number of male family caregivers has often been unrecognized, but not anymore! In the last 15 years, the percentage of men caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease has more than doubled, from 19 percent in 1996 to 40 percent in 2009, and has continued growing rapidly! Now we want to make sure that you are able to Fish for Information and get a great catch here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center.
Too many times we see caregivers who try to do it all alone but those who seek outside help with tasks are less likely to burn out and better able to provide long-term support for their loved one. To ease the stress and strain of caregiving, here are some resources to consider:
HELP WITH EVERYDAY NEEDS
- A Friendly check-in ~ Sometimes a phone call or visit by a companionship service can be reassuring for your loved one when they are left alone.
- Help around the house ~ Home care aides do laundry, cooking, and even run errands. To make the home safer for elderly residents, repair services can be hired for minor repairs and maintenance as well.
- Meal programs ~ For a hot meal and social interaction, some agencies deliver meals to the home and some senior centers serve group meals.
HELP FOR CAREGIVERS
- Caregiver support groups ~ These groups provide emotional support and information sharing among people who are also caregivers.
- Geriatric Care Managers ~ A professional who performs an assessment of a person’s mental, physical, environmental and financial conditions to create a care plan to assist in arranging housing, medical, social and other services.
- Respite Care ~ These services provide temporary relief to caregivers from a few hours a day to several weeks, depending upon your situation and needs.
HELPFUL PLANNING STRATEGIES
- Get referrals from friends and family.
- Interview providers personally, and when possible, involve your loved one.
- Visit faculties to learn about the activities, types of people participating, and whether it’s a good fit.
- Ask about workers education and training.
- Be organized. Create a file system for all of the information you receive. Information you learn now may be useful later.
- Be sensitive. Acknowledge your loved ones reactions, but know your own limits. Although your loved one may prefer to have only you providing care for them, it may be best for everyone for you to get some extra help.
Even when their need for specialized care is great, your loved one will most likely prefer to stay at home. For more information, tips, or to sign up for one of our support groups visit our website at AlzheimersCareResourceCenter.org or call us at 561-588-4545.