Help for caregivers

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By Catherine Walsh, Marketing Communications,
Intercity Home Care

Each January arrives with a feeling of fresh possibility and renewed optimism. We feel grateful for the things that are going well and contemplate where change might benefit our quality of our life in the New Year. Some might consider starting an exercise program, or taking a class. But if you’re a caregiver for your spouse, parent, friend or neighbor, this could be a time to assess how you’ve been accomplishing the complex job of caring for a loved one to see if there isn’t a better or easier way of doing things. So in the spirit of the New Year, here are a few ideas to help with one of the biggest challenges of caregiving, “I have to do it myself.”

If you think no one can do it better than you, you’re probably right! But you don’t have to do it alone and it is no less caring, loving or even rewarding to delegate some of the many tasks needed to keep loved ones safe and in their own home. There is help available.

Home care services

There are many services offered by homecare companies from homemaking (light housekeeping and meal preparation) to personal care (help with activities of daily living like bathing and getting dressed). Companions can share a cup of tea and conversation with an elder, allowing time for a caregiver to attend to other matters. Home care aides can also drive folks to appointments or social activities. The costs vary from $25 to $28 an hour.

Aging services access points

Under the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, your local elder service provider is a source of vital information about homecare services, transportation, meals, caregiver support and financial eligibility for assistance.

Geriatric care management

These certified professionals offer a personalized service and can guide, advocate and provide valuable information about costs, quality and availability of senior resources in your community.  They can offer a continuity of care and help with communication between family members. Cost is between $100-200 per hour.

Senior councils on aging

Your local center provides folks with support and an opportunity to socialize, be entertained or learn something new.

Laundry service

This service provides pickup and delivery in short order…all washed, dried and folded. Cost is generally by the pound at about $25 to $40 a bag. If it’s not affordable on a weekly basis, even every other week would help or use it just for sheets, towels and blankets.

Grocery delivery

It’s becoming more and more commonplace to order groceries by phone or internet and have them delivered in a refrigerated truck for a small fee. It gets easier each time you use the service, because your order is saved for future reference.

Automated medication machines

A large array of styles and prices starting at about $60 are available. These machines help with reminders and reduce the chance to miss or double the dose of medication.

Let 2017 be the year you reach out for the support you deserve. As a caregiver, you do an incredible job! Have a Happy New Year.

Intercity Home Care is family-owned and has been providing quality care since 1967.  Based in Malden with offices in Salem and Lowell, we serve over 60 communities in Greater Boston, North Shore and Merrimack Valley. Call for a free assessment and learn more about the services of our Private Care Division and its Director of Care Management Lisa O’Loughlin, RN, GCM at 781-333-6550.