Resources for Family Caregivers in America This National Elder Law Month
Unfortunately, Covid-19 and the surrounding pandemic are not the only thing that many of us are dealing with right now. Are you in your 40s or 50s? Are you currently caring for an aging parent? Do you also have young children? Has an adult child moved back in? Do you feel compelled to put the needs of others ahead of your own, or do you have difficulty balancing competing priorities? Do you feel overwhelmed as a result?
If any or all of this sounds familiar, you are no different than millions of family caregivers in the United States. You are also a member of the Sandwich Generation, which is the generation finding themselves simultaneously caring for both a younger person and older person. Fortunately help may be available, even in these times of crisis, if you know where to turn. This National Elder Law Month let us share with you a number of resources available to you that you may be able to use to help you now, or any time throughout the year.
1. Ask for help. Many family caregivers, unfortunately, do not ask for help until they are at, or past, the breaking point. They suffer from a form of martyr syndrome where they feel they can “do it all” or believe that “no one can provide better care”. While this may be true, you still need help. Even assistance with the smaller things, like getting groceries or preparing meals, can do much to alleviate the stress and challenges that you face.
2. Seek respite care when you need a break. While this can start with your family members, it can be much more as well. Respite care is just one of the resources available to family caregivers belonging to the Sandwich Generation. According to The Access to Respite Care and Help, or ARCH, respite care is defined as:
- Pre-arranged or emergency care
- Afforded an adult or child in need of special care
- For the purposes of providing temporary relief
- To the primary family caregiver
ARCH facilitates access to respite care through its National Respite Locator. This service allows family caregivers to search for nearby respite providers and programs. It also provides links to relevant consumer information and other resources including state respite registries, state respite coalitions, adult day care centers and more.
3. Get the tools you need to be successful. We do not know what we do not know. We do want you to know that there are other organizations that can provide access to virtual and traditional forms of support, information, and tools for family caregivers that may be helpful. Just a few of these helpful solutions are:
- The AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center
- The Caregiver Action Network
- Caregiver Support Services
- The Family Caregiver Alliance
- The National Adult Day Services Association
In addition, you may find paid caregivers and other useful information on websites such as caring.com.
4. Look for specific help for your own situation. If you are caring for an aging parent who is struggling with dementia, you may find helpful materials on the Alzheimer’s Association website. You may want to visit the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America website as well. The National Institute on Aging also has a web page specifically devoted to Alzheimer’s caregiving.
5. Speak with your attorney. We know and understand the challenges you are facing. We encourage you not to put off speaking with an attorney who understands elder law and the solutions you may need for success.
Finally, we recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic may make your role as a family caregiver even more stressful. Since we often work with Florida seniors and their loved ones, we would like to offer our support. Please feel free to call our law firm to discuss any legal questions or concerns about family caregiving at your earliest convenience.