Caregiver stress is inescapable, but realistically, not always a bad thing. They say, “A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.” But is that true for caregivers? In particular for family caregivers, the level of stress can rapidly worsen and become overwhelming, and if not handled correctly, result in significant health concerns. Read more
Family caregivers give a lot of themselves to the people they care for, which often means leaving behind their own desires and needs in the process. It may seem normal, then, to presume that caregivers would feel good about themselves, with high self-worth and sense of purpose.
However, that is not always the case. Family caregiver guilt is prevalent, and many family caregivers wish they possessed more patience, the answer for all of their loved one’s problems, or the capability to accomplish everything on their own without needing help. They give themselves unattainable and unrealistic goals, which can lead to:
- Feeling trapped
- The desire to get away
- Never feeling good enough
- Heightened stress
- Lack of joy in life
- Lacking good quality time with a senior loved one
- And more
If you have been feeling the effects of family caregiver guilt, taking these actions can be extremely liberating:
- Maintain a realistic viewpoint, knowing that all family caregivers are faced with challenges. We are all human.
- Admit your feelings of guilt along with the particular reason causing it; as an example, “I am feeling guilty because I became impatient with Dad’s repeated questions.”
- Change your focus to a positive outcome. Remind yourself of the joke you told that made Dad laugh this morning, or how much he loved the lunch you prepared.
- Be sure to put aside plenty of time for soothing, pleasurable and gratifying activities: engaging in favorite pastimes and hobbies, journaling, spending time with friends, family and pets, etc.
- Exchange your internal “should have” dialogues with a more encouraging slant: “It is difficult to respond to the same questions repeatedly, and I am doing the best that I can.”
- Find a support partner. To be the best family caregiver you can be means ongoing, scheduled breaks from care to take care of your own needs.
- Follow a healthier lifestyle that includes nutritious meals, aiming for 7 – 8 hours of sleep every night, exercising, giving up smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.
Reach out to San Diego Home Caregivers at (619) 487-9000 for top-rated home care in Point Loma and the surrounding areas. Our professionally trained at home caregivers allow family caregivers time to destress and unwind, an integral aspect of effective elder care. We’re available based on your preferred schedule and routine, with as much or as little care as needed, up through and including 24/7 care. Keep in mind that taking the best care of yourself helps you to provide the best care for the senior you love, and we are always on hand to assist!
Fulfilling the care needs of an elderly or disabled loved one is a psychologically, physically, and emotionally demanding undertaking, and it’s essential for family caregivers to take routine breaks to rest and relax. Senior home care offers relief from the everyday duties of caregiving, enabling family caregivers to also care for themselves.
Here are a few basic principles of senior respite care:
- Respite from everyday, ongoing care tasks assures older adults still receive the attention they need and deserve.
- Respite care supplies family caregivers with care that is planned, temporary, intermittent and substitute.
- Respite care can be provided from part of one day to ongoing scheduled routine relief.
How you can help a family caregiver:
- Offer to share caregiving tasks. Even if you are only available to help out once in a while, it shows the family caregiver that you care about his/her health.
- Offer to assist with the family caregiver’s own personal chores. Family caregivers have their own lives too, and taking time to manage their own laundry, grocery shopping, and housecleaning chores can be tricky.
- Chip in to hire respite care services from a professional home care agency, like the senior home care experts at San Diego Home Caregivers. Often, family members who live at a distance want to contribute to a loved one’s care. Helping to pay for respite care services not only helps the senior, but the family caregiver too.
How family caregivers can find needed support:
- Request assistance. Other family members often want to help with caregiving, but aren’t aware of what help is needed. Involve them in the respite care plan so you can take a break when needed.
- When family members are not available, schedule respite care with a senior home care agency, like San Diego Home Caregivers. Professional caregivers can help family care providers take the time away they need while providing quality care for their older loved ones.
- Talk to the person in your care. A change in daily routine, such as by introducing a new caregiver, can be taxing for the senior, so take the following steps to alleviate any concerns:
- Make sure you have a respite care plan ready to go in advance.
- Remind the older adult regularly that your break is approaching and someone will be coming to provide care
- Introduce the older person to the new caregiver if he/she is not another family member.
- Follow your plan. Taking time away from caregiving is critical to your health. Make sure that everyone involved in your respite care plan are on the same page so that you can take time to care for yourself.
The bottom line is, no one person can do everything alone, and there is skilled and compassionate help here for you through San Diego Home Caregivers’ senior home care team! Providing home health in La Jolla and nearby areas, call us at (619) 487-9000 to learn about how we can help you.
Long-term care insurance can provide extraordinary peace of mind, but utilizing those benefits can wind up to be a perplexing experience for seniors and their family members. To help lead families through the process, San Diego Home Caregivers provides this helpful overview.
Which services are covered?
Prior to filing a claim, it is important to carefully review the long-term care insurance policy in order to gain an understanding of the types of services the policy covers. If you do not have a copy of the policy, get in touch with the provider to ask for one.
Although all policies differ in what they cover, long-term care insurance usually covers non-medical services in the home with the condition that support is necessary for two or more activities of daily living, or the policyholder has been diagnosed with some type of cognitive condition, such as dementia. Examples of the type of care that long-term care policies might cover include:
- Personal care, such as bathing and dressing
- Transfers and ambulation
- Using the bathroom and incontinence care
- Meal preparation and feeding if needed
- And more
If you or a senior loved one would like assistance understanding the details of the policy, an insurance agent, elder care attorney or financial planner can help.
Are all of the costs of care covered?
While individual plans vary, every plan details the permitted monthly coverage, which is identified as the “present daily allowance,” and frequently has a specified lifetime maximum. Policies also usually identify a particular duration of time for which the benefits are accessible, such as five years, or the coverage may be effective for the policyholder’s lifetime.
It’s also important to check the long-term care plan’s elimination period. The elimination period is the time during which the cost of care is paid out-of-pocket until a predetermined amount of time has gone by. Although some plans identify a zero-day elimination, which means cost for care and coverage begin immediately, other policies might require up to 120 days of care first.
Choose your care provider carefully.
If you plan on filing a claim for long-term care insurance, it is important to work with a home care company with experience in billing long-term care insurance providers; otherwise, there is the possibility that the claim may not be reimbursed. San Diego Home Caregivers has experience with helping families obtain their long-term care insurance benefits and can provide the documentation needed to help clients file claims properly.
How can claims be filed?
In order to file a long-term care insurance claim, the following documents are usually required:
- A claimant’s statement (or policyholder statement) describing the reasons for the claim
- A statement from a doctor, verifying that care is warranted
- A prescribed care plan and nursing evaluation
- A provider statement, completed by the home care agency
- An authorization form
Once completed and submitted, a phone interview is scheduled with the insurance company’s claims department. In the next step, the claim is either approved or denied.
If you are looking to receive home care services through a long-term care policy, call San Diego Home Caregivers today at (619) 487-9000. You can feel confident in knowing that we have years of experience in not only providing exceptional care in the comfort of home, but also in assisting families with long-term care insurance claims and getting the most out of their plan. To learn more about our premier options for senior care in San Diego and surrounding areas, please contact us today.