Are You a Caregiver

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Author: Anne Marie Gavel

Take this quiz to see if you are a caregiver:

  • Do you pick up groceries and prepare meals?
  • Do you do all the meal preparation?
  • Do you order and/or pick up medications?
  • Do you remind your loved one to take medications?
  • Do you arrange and accompany your loved one to doctor appointments?
  • Do you shop for health care insurance and services?
  • Do you help manage your loved one's finances?
  • Do you perform your loved one's housework or laundry?

We are often uncomfortable and confused about these changes. Most of us are unprepared to care for a parent or spouse, and nothing can truly prepare us for the emotional challenges.

We may worry about whether our loved one is safe being alone, what happens if she falls, is he is correctly taking his medications? What happens if he forgets his medications altogether? We may notice such changes such as poor hygiene or eating habits, difficulty walking, increased forgetfulness, being suddenly aggressive or argumentative. Addressing your loved ones issues and finding practical solutions is difficult. You dont have to do it alone. Below are some resources that can help.

Resources for Caregivers

  • The Area Agency on Aging has local chapters. The Web site for the national organization is located at www.n4a.org.
  • Find out if your loved one is eligible for Medicare home health care services. Call the Regional Home Health Intermediary at 1-800-MEDICARE or visit www.medicare.gov.
  • The National Eldercare Locator is a toll-free service of the Administration on Aging. Telephone: 800-677-1116; www.eldercare.gov.
  • The National Family Caregiver Support Program helps states provide serves for caregivers. www.aoa.gov/prof/aoaprog/caregiver/caregiver.aspx
  • The National Respite Locator Service can help you locate respite care for your loved one. Respite care gives you a break and relieves stress. To find respite care in your area, visit www.respitelocator.org.
Source

National Women's Health Information Center. Caregiver stress. Accessed August 6, 2008. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/caregiver.htm#c.

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