Eldercare responsibilities typically rise to the surface during a crisis. When an aging parent needs additional care you often don't know where to turn. The good news is you have a wide variety of caregiving assistance easily available in most areas of the country.
One problem family caregivers need to prepare for when caring for elderly parents is the terrible fragmentation of America's health care system. The process of gathering information and locating appropriate elder care services will take time. Finding exactly the types of aging/elder care support an elderly parent needs to be well cared for will take time. Be prepared for this disconnection among aging services to be a source of frustration for you.
I'd like to tell you there's an easier way to find the specific elderly parent care an aging mother or father needs. I can't. To minimize the stress, understand the problems you'll face getting the information, your need, get yourself well organized before you make calls, then roll up your shirt sleeves and get to work.
When you don't know where to start, use these five senior oriented services to find elderly parent care resources near you.
211 - Most major American cities offer the new 211 telephone service. It quickly connects you to critical elder care services available for seniors in your community. While services available through 211 for an older Americans vary by community, you may be able to find information about, and referrals to, services for every day aging needs in times of crisis.
Dialing 2-1-1 connects you to senior support services like food banks, rental and utility assistance, help locating home health care, adult day care, Meals on Wheels, home maker services and respite care.
Agency of Aging - Your local Agency on Aging is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This agency helps seniors and their families quickly obtain information and resources on a variety of aging-related topics. The Agency on Aging can help you familiarize yourself with the issues affecting your elderly parents and aging services available to care for them. Find the agency in your area.
Senior Ministries - If you either you or your elderly parent belongs to a place of worship, contact their senior ministry. Larger churches and synagogues have senior ministries who are connected to elderly parent care resources. They can also arrange for volunteers willing to help with everyday caregiving tasks. If neither you, your mother or father belong to a worship center, grab the Yellow Pages and look up the names of the largest churches and synagogues in your town. Give each of one a call. You'll be surprised how quickly you will find direction.
Health and Aging Organizations - Try this online, searchable database maintained by the National Institute on Aging. It gives you one-click access to a list of over 250 national organizations that provide help to older people.
Your Employer - An often overlooked resource is your employer. Many large corporations offer free eldercare guidance through an Employee Assistance Program. Check with your human relations department.
The network of social agencies connecting you to elderly parent care resources changes constantly. Many are non-profit and staffed by volunteers who may not be as well trained as you would like. Be prepared to run into outdated phone numbers, discontinued programs, being left on hold and less than helpful staff. You'll eventually be able to find help caring for aging parents but it requires patience and persistence.
Caring for an aging parent is no picnic. With the right information you can avoid mistakes and unnecessary stress. Get valuable eldercare insights so you make better decisions faster, with less stress and heartache. Access FREE Weekly Elder Care Tips by visiting http://www.MrElderCareOnline.com.
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