Getting Connected: Finding the Caregiver Resources You Need
If you are responsible for caring for a parent or other loved one, knowing where to find caregiver resources and support can be vital in managing both their care and your own. Fortunately, there are many different ways to get the support you need, and resources are available in the physical world, online, and through apps designed to make your day to day life easier and more fulfilling.
Online Support and Caregiver Resources
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: A good starting point when looking for resources as a caregiver is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They list websites, physical centers, and other sources of support services, and can help you find information and help to deal with Medicare, Veteran’s Affairs, pensions, insurance, and more.
- The National Alliance for Caregiving: Caregiver resources are also compiled and updated regularly by the National Alliance for Caregiving, which includes many listings for caregivers seeking help to cope with specific medical conditions and diagnoses. Additionally, the Alliance networks with many organizations to provide caregivers with the unique support they need.
- National Council on Aging: If you’re not sure what benefits your loved one may qualify for, the National Council on Aging provides a Benefits Check Up which can help identify services in your area that could aid your parent’s or spouse’s care.
- The AARP: One of the most familiar organizations to seniors, the AARP provides a comprehensive list of resources for caregivers to help you find the support you want as you care for your loved one’s needs.
- The Well Spouse Association: If you are the primary caregiver for your spouse, the Well Spouse Association is an excellent resource. They provide an active community to help you with support, as well as holding conferences across the country to supply additional information about caregiver support resources.
- Eldercare Locator: The U.S. Administration on Aging provides an Eldercare Locator to help caregivers find support services in their area, including housing, transportation, and insurance or benefits assistance.
Mobile Apps for Caregiver Support
Smartphone apps can also provide easy access to support resources and help you obtain the support you need.
- Lotsa Helping Hands is a caregiving app that allows you to create a community of care for your loved one by inviting family and friends to contribute to an interactive calendar and share in the providing you with the support you need. It is a free app available on both iPhone and iPad as well as on Android devices. It’s an easy way to help schedule help with meals, transportation, and more.
- CareZone allows you to enter and save all of your loved one’s important information on a single, secured app to give other caregivers access as needed. You can input medical information, medication logs, pharmacy and doctor numbers, as well as caregiver notes, observations, and more. This support app is also free and available for Android and iPhone users.
- eCare21 syncs all of your loved one’s wireless and wearable devices including items such as a smartwatch, Bluetooth, or FitBit device. With it, you can track their activity, heart rate, medications, sleep patterns, and nutrition.eCare21 is an excellent caregiver resource, especially for instances when monitoring is needed but you don’t want to be intrusive. Your parent or spouses doctor can also be given access if required. Use eCare21 on iPhone or Android devices.
Real World Self-Care
It can be easy to overlook the first rule of caring for others; not jeopardizing your own well-being. It’s challenging, but taking time for yourself will deliver a return on investment that offers immeasurable.
- A weekly yoga class can help reduce stress, improve your overall immune system’s response, and improve sleep;
- An afternoon spend out with a friend can boost endorphins and alleviate feelings of isolation or being overworked;
- An evening spent reading a fat novel with your phone turned off can boost your mood for a week.
Self-care doesn’t have to be intrusive, it can be as little as taking time to enjoy the small things so that you have more of yourself to give back to others.
In addition to these caregiver resources, you can reach out to local community organizations and centers for advice, assistance, and guidance. A senior living community can also be a great resource, by allowing your loved one to pursue active living in a setting that provides them with additional support while keeping you involved in their care.
Caregiver resources not only give you the support you need to care for your loved one more effectively but can also be used to provide you with personal support as you navigate the added responsibility of being a caregiver.
If you’d like more information about how Kensington Place can help you find the support resources you need, get in touch today. Whether you are caring for a spouse with memory loss or a parent who is losing their ability to live independently, having resources at your disposal can make daily life more manageable and help everyone live their best lives, today.