By Robert F. Cashel, FCA President & CEO
The recent article “Caring for loved ones comes at a cost – can we pay?” published in Hearst newspapers takes an intimate look at the difficulties of caring for an aging loved one. This is a challenge we face alongside families at Family & Children’s Agency (FCA), as our Home Care department assesses seniors’ needs, helps mitigate the risk of falls, provides personal emergency alert services, supplies part-time and live-in care for seniors, and supports caregivers. Last year, these programs served more than 1,169 seniors.
The systems in place for older adults can be opaque and confusing. Even as a social worker and the President and CEO of FCA, when it became clear that my mother was no longer able to provide day to day care for my stepfather, I struggled to figure out where to turn and what resources are available. I utilized FCA’s services, including our Geriatric Social Worker, and their advice and guidance clarified the best type of care for my stepfather and directed us to programs that fit our needs. The social worker met personally with my mother (the caregiver) and stepfather to clarify their wishes, which were to stay at home for as long as was safe and possible.
Our support services for family caregivers are free to everyone and provide connections with available programs, help with navigating senior service systems, educate about Medicare and Medicaid, provide depression screening and counseling, and more.
Are you a caregiver? Here are some ways to avoid burnout and practice self-care:
- 1. Utilize FCA’s free geriatric social work services – call 203-831-2900 or email Renee at RCortinhas@fcagency.org
- 2. Take time for yourself – FCA can connect you with respite or temporary care you may qualify for
- 3. Stay connected in the community and with friends
- 4. Keep up healthy habits like exercise and good nutrition
- 5. Consider joining a support group – FCA can let you know if your town is one of several in the area
Tags: Home Care