Caring for Caregivers

woman-158230_1280When family or friends end up bearing the brunt of caretaking for senior members in their inner circle, they can end up completely depleted themselves. They need help and support, especially if they are caring for them round the clock. Of course there are options, such as the Dry Harbor Nursing Home or the Village Adult Day Health Center in the New York area, that takes the burden away and provides tremendously top quality care for the elderly.

But for people who opt to take on the role of senior care-taking, they deserve some help. Thankfully, there are efforts being generated by lawmakers to provide this right now. For example, New York congresswoman Nita Lowey is working on promoting a law that would provide a Social Security credit to all those who have been forced to leave their job (or cut down their hours) in order to take care of a family member.

To try to encourage other legislators to support this, Lowey pointed out that America has 65 million unpaid caregivers. These people end up losing an average of $324,000 in pay and benefits over a lifetime.

These caregivers are seriously doing the work of angels. However they are human. They need to be compensated. It is also essential that they do not neglect their own health as the potential for burnout in this role is extremely high. Lowey has made a real step in the right direction.


The Aging Population and Health Care Options

Senior Health Care
Senior Health Care on the Rise

In New York, New Jersey, and the greater metropolitan area, there are many choices when it comes to senior health care programs. Among these choices are Dry Harbor; Home Instead Senior Care, founded by Paul and Lori Hogan in 1994; and BrightStar, founded by J.D. and Shelly Sun in 2002.

All these companies are focused on addressing many of the issues arising from the fact that the number of seniors as a percentage of the population is steadily growing, thus bringing the issues of health care to the forefront of society’s concerns.

In the past when a senior did not have family to care for them their only option was to live and be cared for in a nursing home if living independently was impossible. Today this is far from the reality. Franchises such as BrightStar and Home Instead are available to help seniors, who are not ill and can live on their own, but just need a bit of assistance with cooking, shopping, cleaning, taking meds or the like. And there are full-service health care programs such as the Dry Harbor Nursing Home, which offers services such as skilled rehabilitation as well as long-term care and assisted living care.

With so many options available today to the aging population, which is living longer and in better health, it pays to research well what health care suits each individual best.

Finding the Right Nursing Home

senior-homeWhen it comes time to finding alternative accommodation for a member of our family, where do you start? Where do you look? What questions should you ask? It is not an easy decision to move a parent out of their home (or yours) to a nursing home but these days the options are many and varied and often really are catered to suit the individual. Indeed, many elderly are now looking to move out of their homes as they are lonely. In New York, places like Dry Harbor Nursing Home and Acer Heart Senior Home are great options for seniors who still want to live life to the fullest.

But as an adult child of a parent going into a nursing home, what should you be looking for? While part of the answer to this question depends on the personality of your aging relative and what they enjoy doing, much of it is the same for everyone. Quality of care, testimonials from others, nutrition and activities are all features that should be taken into consideration.

For those who are reluctant to put their mothers or fathers into care, keep visiting the home. At the Dry Harbor Nursing Home for example, one will find a very modern facility with the finest rehabilitation equipment, warm and friendly staff and more. But visit. And don’t just visit once. Keep on visiting until you get a good feeling. Also speak to your parent when they move in and make sure they are comfortable. Always keep the lines of communication open.

Remember with places like Dry Harbor and Acer Heart, it’s not like it was years ago – these nursing/senior homes are really a fun place for one to live and enjoy life to the fullest and ultimately you’ll be doing your parent a favor by making this choice.