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National Crisis Hotline

(for people in emotional distress or suicidal)

1-800-273-8255

 

Alzheimer's Association National Hotline

1-800-272-3900

 

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CaregivingCafe.com > Directory

DIRECTORY:

Caregiving Websites & Resources

 

This DIRECTORY provides caregiving websites and caregiver resources addressing eldercare, caregiver burnout, support, health, housing, nutrition, medication, mobility, products, services, grief, blogs, forums and more.  It is set up alphabetically in the MENU on the left.  Each category has links that will take you to websites full of useful information covering many topics relating to caregiving.  Because their content includes a variety of subjects, you can learn a lot from each one.

If you cannot find a particular topic, please enter your topic in the SEARCH field.  Do CONTACT US if your query is not answered in this manner.  We'd be happy to help.

 

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Quick Reference Guide to Better Manage Caregiving: Resources, Tips & Tools for a successful journey (dowloadable PDF)

 

What is a Caregiver?

A family caregiver, or simply a caregiver, is typically an adult who takes care of another person in the family, usually an elderly parent or someone who is chronically ill or disabled.  But not always.  Sometimes, teenagers or younger minors become caregivers in an effort to help a loved one.  Sometimes, people take care of friends as well.  Family caregivers receive no compensation for their work.

Keep in mind that the role of caregiver often begins suddenly upon diagnosis or injury of a loved one.  It is quite natural for a spouse, daughter, son, grandparent, relative, parent, etc. to want to help somehow. Once a person has been designated or has offered to be in charge of the loved one's care, that person becomes the primary family caregiver.

A family caregiver is a spokesperson, an advocate & a representative for his/her caree.  When a loved one cannot accurately discuss any health issues of concern with the doctor or medical staff, for example, it is the family caregiver's duty to speak on behalf of the patient.  Because a caregiver spends much time with his /her caree, the caregiver can gather and share a lot of valuable information that can then be shared with the medical professionals in charge of the caree's treatment.  These observations can be instrumental when the doctors are deciding on the appropriate course of action for the patient's care.

Caregivers usually take on everything that their loved one does (or did), with the added visits to their healthcare professional as needed.  These tasks include:

  • bathing / grooming
  • brushing teeth
  • toileting
  • dressing
  • making beds
  • cooking
  • feeding
  • giving medications
  • exercising
  • walking
  • house cleaning
  • paying bills
  • grocery shopping
  • errands
  • doctor's visits
  • healthcare visits
  • diversions
  • social visits
  • health or life insurance shopping & paperwork
  • Social Security paperwork when needed
  • other Human Resources paperwork [401k, tax withholding...] as needed
  • finding doctors as health changes
  • finding home healthcare as needed
  • finding medical supplies as needed
  • finding mobility or assistive equipment as needed
  • finding transportation as needed
  • deciding if caree needs to move to different living accommodations - usually done as a family
  • providing companionship & emotional support for caree
  • discussing or selecting Medical Advance Directives with caree or family
  • discussing or designating a Medical Power of Attorney with caree
  • discussing or finding someone to draw a will for caree
  • discussing or designating a Power of Attorney with caree [for non-medical issues]
  • discussing Estate Planning with caree or family
  • finding someone to do taxes for caree
  • finding support groups as needed
  • finding financial help as needed, if qualified

Remember that these things don't all need to be done at once!  The most important things are safety and medical issues, which can be learned in a short time.  You take one day at a time and adjust your plan in order to find one that works well for caregiver and caree.  Keep in mind that the care recipient may not feel up to tackling a lot of these tasks in one go, especially if s/he is not well.  Use your judgment and do only what is manageable.  While I wouldn't procrastinate on the urgent items, there is always tomorrow to get the less important things done.

Remember also that caregivers need to find a way to manage their newly acquired responsibiities.  It is imperative that they:

  • schedule short breaks daily; longer ones when possible
  • take care of themselves physically, emotionally, mentally
  • learn what they can about the condition & treatment
  • utilize help & support that are available locally and online: support groups, caregiver respite, adult day centers, assistance programs for medications, helplines from disease-based organizations, etc.
  • create a Care Team to help with care: doctors, medical professionals, family, friends
  • accept help with tasks from family, friends, neighbors

Use this DIRECTORY to find the resources you need to make your caregiving more manageable.  Reach out when you need help.  It is the smart and sensible thing to do!

 

 

Caregiver Checklists

UHF Next Step in Care  -  Guidance for all caregivers

National Caregivers Library  -  Checklists & Forms

Caregiver's Checklist  -  Area Agency on Aging

Coping Checklists for Patients and Caregivers  -  American Cancer Society

 

 

Pets

In the event that your loved one needs to be hospitalized or passes away, arrangements need to be made for taking care of any pets.  Unless their owner has already made those arrangements, this means that the caregiver or family member with the authority to decide will:

  • take care of them
  • find someone to take care of them
  • find a shelter or kennel for them
  • put them up for adoption

If a pet is put up for adoption, please ask before committing the pet what happens if no one takes the pet within the agency's time limit.  Often, pets are put down when no new owner is found within their time frame - that is how we ended up with our own little dog!

I was told by the Humane Society today that if an owner is taken away by ambulance due to a medical emergency, EMS will not leave a pet alone in a home.  They will make arrangements for Animal Control or a state animal shelter to take the pet unless someone tells them that the pet will be cared for by someone else.  If no new owner is found, they may also be put down at the shelter.

Best advice: make arrangements for someone to take care of pets if the care recipient must be away from the home or passes away.

 

Here are some alternatives to giving up a pet for adoption:

Foster Dogs - Temporary Home for a Dog

PetCare AuPair - In-Home care for your pet

PAWS: People Helping Animals - Foster an Animal

Pet Foster Care for Military Personnel

Operation Noble Foster - for Military Personnel's cats

Petfinder - Find a pet or shelter

The Pet Foster Network - Looking for Pet Foster Parents

 

 

 

 

 

 


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