Despite modern medicine’s best efforts, everyone on earth grows old. It’s a fact that we all have to adjust to at some point in our lives, but some moments remind us of our age. Some moments can be heartwarming, like watching a child grow up, or nostalgic, like taking a look back at old photos. However, there is one experience that is perhaps the most powerful reminder of time; our parents aging.
As kids, we rarely give a thought to our parents getting old, but sooner or later, there will come a time when you need to sit down with your parents to discuss a plan for when they need help the most. Though there are many options for older adults and how they want to live, one of the most influential and helpful solutions is a caregiver.
A caregiver can be anyone, from yourself and other family members to trained nurses and professional facilities like nursing homes or retirement communities. As long as you are providing support and care for someone, you are a caregiver! Having a caregiver around helps people with daily tasks and upkeep, which can offer a huge sense of security and support for everyone involved.
However, while your aging loved ones receive excellent care and attention, the caregiver themselves can often struggle. Caregiver jobs are challenging and require a significant amount of emotional strength, something that takes a mental and physical toll on your body. Without outside help and support, the job can feel overwhelming, but with the right resources and assistance, it doesn’t have to be.
Keep reading for a quick look at 10 caregiver resources that anyone may find helpful! From support programs and health care assistance to a wide variety of other caregiver services, this list will outline some of the most valuable websites, organizations, and programs for caregivers.
Taking care of your loved ones can be difficult for everyone involved, but with the right kind of help and support, you can ease the stress and focus on the essential things.
At times, caregiving can be a draining job, and plenty of caregivers try to muddle through it on their own. Some of the best resources you can find as a caregiver will be the resources that provide you with mental and emotional support. Finding support resources can help you talk through the complex aspects of the job and give you a safe space to handle your own needs.
Generally, when you assume the role of caregiver, it’s for someone already in your family. Because of this particular connection, your own family members can be one of your greatest assets. Various family members can help you cook, provide emotional support, do research, and much more, so be sure to utilize them.
Online or In-Person Support Group
The experience of being a caregiver is pretty unique, and often, people who have never had caregiver responsibilities won’t understand the difficulties of the job. In these situations, having a caregiver support program can be extremely useful! Support groups can be in-person or online and can connect you to other caregivers around the world.
This connection can help you find information, discuss issues you might be facing, or simply find some validation from people who know what you are going through.
Caregiver responsibilities can quickly become the biggest priority in your life, which can sometimes lead to financial difficulties. There are plenty of resources for financial aid, but they will change depending on your circumstances.
Medicaid is one of the greatest resources for caregivers to utilize, especially in the case of caregivers for seniors. Adults over the age of 65 can qualify for Medicaid programs, and unlike Medicare, these programs can help to fund long-term care for seniors struggling with money.
If the person you are assisting was a member of the military and needs financial aid for their senior living, they may be able to get help from the Department of Veteran Affairs. This department can offer monetary support for medical care, disability compensation and more, for those who qualify.
All the Information
Depending on the type of care you are providing, there will be different expectations and requirements. Every person that needs care is unique, and there’s bound to be a need for more information.
Administration on Aging
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is composed of many different agencies, one of them being the Administration on Aging. This program was designed to promote the health and safety of seniors around the country and is one of the best resources you can turn to if you have questions.
Family Caregiver Alliance
Family caregiving is arguably the most common type of care provided around the country, as family members or friends often care for those closest to them. The Family Caregiver Alliance has superb resources for information, education, and even a state-by-state list of caregiver services and resources.
While it’s true that home care and caregiving can sometimes be solitary jobs, you should seek help whenever possible, even if it’s just an extra set of hands for administering medications or someone to help out with the activities of daily living. Getting tangible help is crucial to caregiving.
If caregiving is starting to overwhelm or strain you, you might want to explore the Eldercare Locator. This helpful site (managed by the Administration on Aging) is a national service that connects independent caregivers with state and local caregiving agencies. This is one of the best ways to find caregiving support, both for yourself and the person in need of care.
Lotsa Helping Hands
Sometimes, all you need help with is a little organization and structure, which is where Lotsa Helping Hands comes in. This handy site connects caregivers to the people in their community and any other people who wish to help with caregiving activities. You can coordinate who is preparing meals, providing assistance, or even visiting times!
As we’ve said before, caregiving depends on the person in need of care and their unique situations. In many cases, people in need of care will be dealing with significant illness or disease that requires extra knowledge or assistance. Though there are endless types of specific care out there, two of the most common are Alzheimer’s Care and Cancer Care.
Alzheimer’s disease can be tough to deal with, especially if you are close to the person it is affecting. The Alzheimer’s Association can help you learn more about the disease, ways you can connect and approach the person in care, and handle some of the more complex emotions that may come up during care.
American Cancer Society
Cancer is one of the most prevalent and severe diseases in our time, so there’s no shame in needing extra help and assistance when providing Cancer Care. The American Cancer Society has a plethora of resources, information, and a dedicated hotline for questions.
Share the Love
Caregiving is an enormous responsibility, but it can be just as rewarding and joyful too! Here at theEATbar, we know that one of the easiest ways to connect is through food, which is why we developed the EATbar! Our bars are made with melt-in-your-mouth joy for all, across an array of different flavors!