Caregiving is a Labor of Love

CARING FOR THE CAREGIVER
Everyone will be a caregiver at some point in their lives.

Caregiving is a labor of love not only for the professional caregiver but also the personal caregiver. Both need support and access to resources.

Your local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) is a great place to start.

Caregiving encompasses many people and many tasks: checking up on a neighbor, picking up a grandparent’s prescription, bringing a relative to the doctor’s.

The added pressure of caregiving in addition to the stresses of everyday responsibilities can affect the health of any caregiver.

Your local ADRC offers many services that can help alleviate some of the pressure and encourage more communication, including:

  • Personal Care
  • Respite Care
  • Dementia Care
  • Assistance with Home Care & Errands
  • Support Care
  • Financial Guidance

In addition, your local ADRC hosts seminars and publishes handbooks and guides.

ADRCs are a Wisconsin idea designed to partner with older adults, persons with disabilities, and their caregivers empowering them to live their best possible life. Learn more about them https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/adrc/index.htm.

Changing Trends

THE AGE OF ASSISTED LIVING

Today’s boomers face a range of choices when it comes to getting assisted living care for their parents or loved ones. It can be a daunting decision with many factors to consider. How do boomers choose? What are the factors and changing trends to consider?

Retirement Living recently completed a study where they polled retirees to find out where they envisioned living in their futures. The answers were largely determined by age and relative health, with a strong majority preferring to “age in place,” or “age in community” as it is sometimes referred as. Other highlights of the study include:

  • Just over 80 percent of respondents say they plan on living at home as they age.
  • ​75 percent of people said failing health is the leading push factor that would cause them to move into an assisted living facility, up about 25 percent from 10 years ago. The second biggest push factor is the loss of the ability to drive at 30 percent.
  • ​People are starting to think about and/or plan on using technology more to help them age in place (up from 10 years ago).
  • When asked if they could no longer live on their own, 52 percent of people said they would rather live at home but with a part- or full-time caregiver over moving into an assisted living facility, moving in with friends or family or moving into a nursing home. Just over 30 percent said they would move into an assisted living facility, up 13 percent from 2016.

AARP is an advocate for “aging in place” or “aging in community” as it can also be called, and they have developed a “home fit” section of their website, designed to help boomers and their parents or loved ones evaluate and update the home room-by-room.

When it comes to researching an assisted living facility, a good place to start in Wisconsin is the guide on the Department of Health website. It explains the types of facilities and a glossary of terms, so boomers and their parents or loved ones have some understanding of the words used as they research or tour. There’s even a downloadable presentation “Choosing an Assisted Living Facility” that includes helpful Q&A and worksheets.

As the topic of how to care for an aging parent or loved one starts to weigh on the minds of boomers, here are some ways to start to think about choices and considerations.