We Bring Experience and Compassion to Long Term Care
Caregiving is hard work. Nobody wants to be a caregiver; they do it as an act of love. I never heard of a 7 year old who when asked what they wanted to do when they grew up said, “I want to be a caregiver for my parents!” And there are no schools, no adult education classes, nor college courses to teach us to be caregivers. Caregivers (read adult children) may have their lives abruptly and drastically interrupted by a catastrophic health care issue for which neither they nor their parents were prepared. Often caregivers face the inevitable twin emotions of guilt and depression which accompanies such an event. Let’s face it; Americans are in denial regarding aging, so we just don’t deal with it. 49% of 60 year olds in America still have at least one parent alive. The decisions that a child will have to make for the parent at a time when there is much stress, emotions, and unexpected problems, are critical to not only the parent’s life, but the caregiver-child’s too. Remember, it seldom is the person needing the care that suffers the most. They will get the care no matter what, but it is the caregiver who really suffers the most. The idea is to manage the care, not provide it.
The loved one’s physical or mental health decline can either come as a gradual, slow process, or sudden, urgent emergency that must handled immediately. Either way, the caregiver must have a plan for Caregiving. This requires foresight and thought. Make sure their affairs are in order: estate planning, insurance, finances & retirement, legal, take inventory, etc. Determine where they will live. Most people want to stay at home, age in place. Have the caregiver educate themselves on the Caregiving process and what will be needed in their particular case.
The sites below are some resources to help in this monumental planning process. They are specific to the San Jose and surrounding areas, but many are useful no matter where you live. Take advantage of them and support groups.
Websites for Caregiving
Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging connecting you to services for older adults and their families.You can also reach us at 800-677-1116
Answer some questions to find benefit programs that can help you pay for medications, health care, food, utilities and more
Family Caregiver Alliance
This is the oldest and perhaps most respected organization that's helped serve the needs of caregivers. They also have a dandy Web site (www.caregiver.org) that offers a Family Care Navigator map which lists a broad range of caregiving services in each state.
Gives 24/7 community, health, and disaster information, child care, senior services, counseling, food, shelter, job services, and much more.
Administration on Aging
The mission of the Administration on Aging (AoA) is to help elderly individuals maintain their dignity and independence in their homes and communities through comprehensive, coordinated, and cost effective systems of long-term care, and livable communities across the U.S.
California Department of Aging
The California Department of Aging (CDA) administers programs that serve older adults, adults with disabilities, family caregivers, and residents in long-term care facilities throughout the State. The Department administers funds allocated under the federal Older Americans Act, the Older Californians Act, and through the Medi-Cal program.
Assist Guide Information Services
This is a fabulous Web resource for caregivers that you can get information on topics such as home care, daily living aids, long-term care solutions, support services, legal and financial help and more. It also lets you ask questions, links you to other caregivers for support and information, and offers a variety of checklists that suggest tips on what to do as a caregiver and how to do it.
The 40/70 Rule
How and when to have “the talk” with your parents
Family Caregiving 101
Created by the National Family Caregivers Association and the National Alliance for Caregiving is a great site for finding assistance, answers, new ideas and helpful advice for you and the person you’re caring for.
Careminds with CareSite
An innovative free feature that aids families and friends in managing the care and support of an elder loved one.
At www.aarp.org/family/caregiving you can find tips and worksheets and on a wide range of issues including long-distance caregiving, as well as access to their Caregiving Tool Kit.
Strength for Caring
Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, this site (www.strengthforcaring.com) provides tip sheets on fitness and nutrition for caregivers, balancing work and family, respite care, reducing stress, caring for specific conditions and home safety.
To help with your caregiving/Medicare questions the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently created a new Web site called Ask Medicare. At www.medicare.gov/caregivers you can find out what Medicare and Medicaid will cover, search for and compare home care and long-term care options and much more.
Caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease or some other form of dementia can present some unique and difficult challenges. To help, a top resource is the Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org, or call 800-272-3900). It puts caregivers in touch with local resources, support groups, medical professionals and provides caregiving tips to handle every behavior and phase of the disease. Also see the Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center at www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers.
The Caregiver's Voice
The independent voice of family and professional caregivers for adults
with cognitive impairment or dementia caused by Alzheimer’s, stroke, related
illness, or trauma. The Caregiver’s Voice brings hope and strength
to caregivers through knowledge, support, and humor.
If you're caring for a cancer patient, a top Web site is www.cancercare.org, which provides cancer support services including counseling and education, as well as where to find financial assistance and get practical help. You can also call 800-813-4673 and get help over the phone.
Our organization is an awareness group that aims to educate the public about prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and medical devices that have the potential to cause patients serious harm.
Lotsa Helping Hands
If you're sharing caregiving responsibilities with other family members, friends or a home care aid there are Web resources that can help you coordinate together. Sites like www.lotsahelpinghands.com and www.caregiverhelper.com let caregivers post updates about medications being taken, doctor's appointments, meal plans and anything else you want to communicate. These sites can help reduce the stress and time it takes to inform all caregivers involved so something isn't missed or overlapped.
Santa Clara County Public Library
Among other things, you can get Senior Discounts, passes to Tech Museum, 3 free downloads per week of iTunes, information on 50+, Accessible Services, Events, Get healthy, and more.
To report neglect, abuse:
Start with Adult Protective Services for those living in the community, or the ombudsman (advocates) for those in facilities, and follow with a police report. Other organizations that provide oversight and advocacy are:
- Assisted-living facilities: California Department of Social Services, www.dss.cahwnet.gov
- Skilled-nursing facilities: California Department of Public Health, www.cdph.ca.gov
- California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program hot line: 800-231-4024
- Alameda County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program: 510-638-6878
- Attorney general's Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse: 800-722-0432
- Your local police department or sheriff's office
- Legal Assistance for Seniors: www.lashicap.org, 510-832-3040
- California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform: www.canhr.org, 415-974-5171
- Foundation Aiding the Elderly: www.4fate.org, 877-481-8558
- National Center on Elder Abuse: www.ncea.aoa.gov/ncearoot/Main_Site/index.aspx
- Help Guide: www.helpguide.org
Age Wave is the nation’s foremost thought leader on population aging and its profound business, social, healthcare, financial, workforce and cultural implications.
Locators for Facilities and Services
Locator by state, county, city to 17,000 SNFs
Rehab Center Locator
The Senior Roundtable
In the San Francisco Bay Area, a monthly meeting of people in the Senior Market that is excellent for networking.
Aging In Place Resources
Beacon Hill Village
For community-based services, check with local Area Agency for Aging.
800-288-2020 New customers
877-858-7463 Existing AT&T customers
Discounted phone service for those who qualify
Check for several low rate programs
Community Action Agency
Senior Centers & Adult Care Centers
U.S. Administration on Aging’s Eldercare Locator
www.eldercare.gov or 800-677-1116
Sites That Rate Institutions and Services