Are You a Caregiver?
There are many faces of caregiving. Nearly one out of every four U.S. households is involved with caregiving (23% or 22.4 million households). Nearly 7 million of them are long distance caregivers.
Caregivers can be neighbors, daughters, sons, nieces, nephews, family friends, or faith community family. Caregivers can provide a range of support from grocery shopping, snow removal, a friendly visit, and more direct support such as meal preparation, bathing, dressing, housekeeping and 24 hour care. Regardless of what you do to provide support for someone, you are a caregiver and you need and deserve the latest information about community resources, support and assistance available to make decisions about your loved one's care. Central Plains Area Agency on Aging (CPAAA) is here to support you and your elderly loved one. Learn about caregiver programs and other support services that can assist you and support you in your caregiving role by clicking on the following link.
Caregiving Step by Step DVD - available for $20 or check out through the lending library. This DVD is a ten part video series offering strategies and solutions for caregivers of older adults. Click above to view the content of the dvd. For more information contact 316-660-5120 or 800-367-7298.
Evaluating Function and Safety of Your Loved One
It is not uncommon for long distance caregivers (family or friends living out of town who provide some type of care or support) to visit a loved one over the holidays, during a summer vacation or following a family get together and there is something different going on. Maybe the older loved one is not taking care of their home as they've done in the past or their hygeine has changed. Maybe their mood has changed or their interest in participating in activities they've enjoyed in the past has decreased. There may be some changes that loved one is not sharing with you or possibly they haven't pin pointed the changes themselves.
If a concern arises, caregivers can assess a loved ones situation without being overly intrusive or obvious. By simply making observations caregivers can pick up on many cues and determine if function or safety are a concern and eventually need to be addressed.
According to the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, there are “10 warning signs” that can assist families and friends to determine if an older loved one may need help. Any one of the behaviors listed may or may not indicate that an action should be taken.
- Changed eating habits
- Neglected hygeine
- Neglected Home
- Changed relationships
- Physcial problems
- Change in normal activities
- Forgetfulness that is unusual
- Mishandled finances
- Unusual purchases
Additional steps to addressing function and safety (coming soon)
If observations lead to concerns, help may be needed. If this is the case, there are several options. If the situation is unsafe, immediate action is required. In most cases there is time to address the concerns and begin making changes to ensure the older individual’s safety and well-being. For those residing in Butler, Harvey and Sedgwick Counties, help can be found at Central Plains Area Agency on Aging (CPAAA). To talk to a a specialist who can provide options related to your loved ones specific situation contact 1-855-200-2372.
Join the conversation, chat regularly with the caregiver care manager at CPAAA and provide your feedback and expertise to a posted topic each week. Follow the weekly topics on CPAAA's facebook and join the conversation every friday by clicking on Caregiver Chat.