Caregivers need help, too!
At the Fearless Caregivers Conference, April 24, 2015
In April I had the pleasure to attend and participate in the Fearless Caregivers conference in West Palm Beach. This conference is promoted in part by the Area Agency on Aging, and brings together many caregivers and experts from a wide variety of critical services, both in the public and private sectors. The purpose is to present and discuss the services available and to invite caregivers and people receiving care, to share knowledge, experience and heartfelt well-wishes and concerns. This was a marvelous event and I was pleased to be there together with my assistant, Wendy. I learned new things there that may be very valuable to not only seniors with home care needs, but everyone as they age and prepare for retirement and beyond. Here are some of my observations from the Fearless Caregivers conference:
– Homecare needs are expanding rapidly. We need to adapt our services to the clients, not the other way around. We also need to address the needs of primary caregivers. We offer flexible options for respite care. We do more than daylong and overnight care. In addition to shift duty we offer 1-hour and 2-hour client visits that help offload the primary caregivers when they need a rest. That may be at any time of day or evening and may include bathing and dressing, exercise, outdoor activities, or stimulating interactions including reading, singing, dancing, art or whatever gives the client some happiness and satisfaction and the primary caregiver some down time. I met some wonderful caregivers and didn’t find a single slacker at the entire event. Caregivers, you are great, but you need some rest, too. Let us help you!
– There are many services available for military veterans and their spouses that are not being fully utilized. If you are a senior veteran or a younger veteran in need of medical or home care assistance and you are not fully sure if you qualify, you owe it to yourself or your loved one to check it out:
Palm Beach County: http://www.westpalmbeach.va.gov/ Broward County: http://www.va.gov/directory/guide/facility.asp?ID=551
– Caregivers love to share their thoughts and ideas on how to better care for their loved ones! There is no single right way to care for an ailing loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart ailments, musculoskeletal ailments and many other problems. One thing for sure, there is nothing like getting your loved out there and still participating in life. We had many couples visit our table, the caregiver and ailing spouse, daughter and mother, nurse and patient, and in each case, the person giving care felt empowered by knowing they are not alone. And the people receiving care had great smiles and were happy to be out in a friendly, sharing environment. There really is strength in numbers and hope in options for more care!
I fully enjoyed being with the Fearless Caregivers and am working to put the great ideas I received, to work. Call me or a member of my team and see how we might help you or someone you love!