Support for Family Caregivers
by Barbara Marshall
The caregivers who are often the most taken aback by their role are those
who never see it coming. Children may be concerned about the deterioration
of the health or financial situation of their loved one, but are perhaps
unwilling to see what may lie ahead.
You can be a caregiver without living with your loved one. There are
factors to look for to see if you need to intervene or offer assistance.
Keep in mind that you do not have to be ìthe bossî or take over the
situation. Guidance from a financial planner or other in-home service
coordinator may be what is really needed. Talking to your loved one and
facing a situation together, allowing them to keep their self worth and
dignity, can be the best assistance you could ever give them.
You can help your loved one remain independent and in their own home. Some
focus points may be:
-Talk with your loved one to find out what she needs and what she will
accept. How do they manage money, clean, shop, and get around?
-Organize information and keep notes on conversations. Keep track of your
loved one's medical condition and prescription drug information.
-Keep a list of community resources in their area, such as adult daycare,
transportation companies, social service agencies, and home health
-Establish a network of support for your loved one (friends, relatives,
neighbors, and physicians.)
-Don't be afraid to ask for assistance from local volunteer agencies or
hire help if it is needed and available.
-Keep in regular touch with your loved one. Record any changes you sense in
their personality or ability to function day by day.
Are you a caring for a loved one 60 years of age or older? You are welcome
to attend the Family Caregiver Support Group. Support groups are held each
month. The next group will take place on July 14, 2004 at 5 p.m. in Labelle
at the L. J. Nobles Senior Center 21, 2004 at 5 p.m. at the Clewiston
Senior and July 28, 2004 at 5 p.m. at the Moore Haven Senior Center. For
additional information contact Barbara Marshall at (863)675-1446.