For the Council on Aging, a family caregiver is anyone – family member, friend, spouse, neighbor, or a paid employee who assists someone over the age of 60. Are you a family caregiver of a loved one? We have resources and support for you!
Caring for an aging loved one can test your budget as much as your patience and endurance. Fortunately, there are federal, state, and even local programs in Central Oregon that can help you make ends meet, find affordable care for your loved one and also obtain respite care for yourself.
An estimated 43.5 million Americans, or nearly 30 percent of the general population, provide unpaid care for an older adult, or someone living with illness or disability (source: AARP 2015). Families are the primary providers of long-term care for their older loved ones, and these unpaid caregivers represent the largest source of long-term services and support in the nation.
The Council on Aging of Central Oregon can help with emotional support and guidance for families, partners, and other caregivers who are providing care for another adult.
Here are some of the areas our information specialists can help you explore:
- Respite Care: temporary supervision of an older adult to provide rest for the hard-working caregiver.
- Adult Day Care: a non-residential facility that supports the health, nutritional, and daily living needs of adults in a professionally staffed, group setting. These facilities provide adults with transitional care and short-term rehabilitation following hospital discharge.
- Caregiver Support Groups: Family caregivers support each other by practicing self-care, sharing resources, and discussing challenges of caregiving for a loved one.
It’s important to find resources that can help you in your role as an unpaid family caregiver. Call us to learn more: (541) 678-5483.
IN-HOME OPTIONS FOR FAMILY CAREGIVERS
When providers, social workers, and others talk about “home care,” there are actually two distinct service models outlined here by Agingcare.com:
Private organizations can be hired to come in and assist your loved one with cooking, shopping, bathing, dressing, toileting, and other activities. They charge by the hour, usually with a minimum time commitment. “Skilled providers” may be part of a Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) or other medical organization and can also provide injections, wound care, and additional medical attention. One of the best resources for beginning the assessment and referral process is right here at the Council On Aging of Central Oregon.
Publicly supported nonprofit organizations manage programs for elders with limited incomes who need assistance paying for home care. There are strict asset requirements, though, and you should consult an attorney or accountant to learn what rules apply. Our information specialists here at the Council On Aging of Central Oregon can offer referrals to local resources.
Public organizations like the Council on Aging of Central Oregon often hire private organizations to provide the services your loved one needs.
HOW TO ACCESS GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS FOR THE ELDERLY
In most cases, access to assistance, you can apply online. Start by visiting these two websites that can help determine what programs your loved one may be eligible for, as well as any others that might be unique to your area.
This site features a comprehensive Benefit Finder tool that serves as a single access point for information on federal, state, and local programs from across different federal agencies. When completing the Benefit Finder questionnaire, respond as accurately as you can. After submitting your answers, the site will generate a list of government programs, supplements, and services your loved one may qualify for, including application details and eligibility information.
This nonprofit site run by the National Council on Aging will ask many of the same questions as the site above. This website is developed specifically for seniors.
Using these resources, caregivers can gain access to vital information, monetary assistance, and services for their aging family members.