Services That Can Help Family Caregivers Maintain Life Balance
A majority of caregivers who are providing care for aging parents in this country are non-professional family members.
Providing care for aging parents or other loved ones who cannot care for themselves is time-consuming and exhausting.
Caregivers for aging parents or anyone really, are notoriously deficient in self-care. However, this is a growing problem that must be addressed. Caregivers and their families must help the caregiver maintain life balance for the good of those they care for. Many programs exist to provide various types of assistance from compensation to adult day program services.
Since 1997, November has been designated as National Family Caregivers Month. This year, due to COVID-19 family caregiving has increased exponentially. President Biden made a proclamation at the beginning of the month addressing his concern and dedication to supporting the overwhelming number of caregivers who have stepped up and sacrificed so much this year and will continue to do so in the years ahead.
Excerpt From President Biden’s Proclamation
“Every day, millions of Americans provide essential care and medical assistance to their loved ones. These acts of love, commitment, and compassion enable their family members to receive the support they need to live a life with dignity. This has been especially true throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, during which Americans of all ages have made substantial sacrifices to keep family members safe and healthy. During National Family Caregivers Month, we recognize the important role of our Nation’s family caregivers and thank them for the invaluable and instrumental care they provide.
While the opportunity to provide care to a loved one can be a blessing and a source of connection, it often requires sacrifice. Millions of Americans have sacrificed jobs and altered careers in order to perform caregiving duties. Workers, their families, and our economy suffer when workers are forced to choose between their jobs and their caregiving responsibilities or between putting food on the table and caring for a relative. Too many Americans who need caregiving support struggle with the high costs of caring for a family member in need, or providing long-term care for people with disabilities or older adults.
My Administration is committed to strengthening American families and easing the burdens of caregiving. That is why my American Rescue Plan provided an additional $145 million in funding for the National Family Caregiver Support Program, which continues to help State and community organizations support family and informal caregivers through in-home programs including counseling, respite care, and training. The American Rescue Plan also provided States with additional Medicaid funding to strengthen and enhance their home- and community-based services (HCBS) program.”
Overview Of Governmental And Community Programs For Family Caregivers
Over 400 programs provide financial assistance for elder care. Help comes from federal, state, and local governments, the VA, non-profits, private organizations, and as many as 50 other agencies. However, please be forewarned that because of the large number of sources and different and often conflicting qualification rules, determining one’s eligibility can be challenging. There’s a quick questionnaire at this link that will give you a sense of which programs you and your loved one are eligible for: https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/resources/locator_tool
You May Even Be Able To Get Paid For Your Caregiving Services
Though NOT allowed in Georgia, in most states, it is possible for family members to be paid by Medicaid for providing personal care for their loved ones. In brief, this process works as follows.
1) An individual applies for Medicaid
2) Once approved, they then sign-up for a specific Medicaid program that pays for home care and allows for “Consumer Direction”. Consumer Direction, also called self-directed care, means the beneficiary can select their care providers rather than have Medicaid choose providers on their behalf.
3) The beneficiary then hires their family member as a personal caregiver.
4) The family member/caregiver submits timesheets to Medicaid. They are paid by Medicaid or indirectly by a legally responsible third-party service.
Veteran Administration’s Community Care Network (VA-CCN)
Another source of help is through the Veteran’s Administration. If you are a family caregiver for a loved one who served in any branch of the military and had an honorable discharge, you may be entitled to additional assistance through the VA Community Care Network (CCN). You’ll find more information here:
Please Take Care Of Yourself
If you are a caregiver, please tend to your self-care. Ask for help from other and especially ask for help looking into the programs that may be able to provide much-needed assistance and respite. And, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all that you do.