Getting Help When You Need It

 

Jeff Mascitelli is the owner of CarePatrol, a senior placement agency located in Escondido here in San Diego County.  This week, Jeff submitted an article for our Southern California Legal Center newsletter, as a guest writer.  See below for some great information from Jeff and CarePatrol:

Most people tend to wait too long to arrange for support in the care of a loved one with dementia. For many families, support services are sought at the point where the primary caregiver has reached the end of their abilities to cope with the mental stress or physical demands, or at the point at which the primary caregiver’s own health is in jeopardy.

The energy it takes to care for someone with dementia creates both a physical and emotional drain; the caregiver must be diligent in monitoring the needs of someone with memory loss, and the job can quickly take a heavy toll. The underlying stress of not knowing what to expect and not knowing what may happen next erodes the caregiver’s ability to cope with the multiple physical demands of care giving.

Many people find it difficult to ask someone outside their immediate family to assist in providing the necessary care. By transferring some of the care responsibilities to professional caregivers, the family finds that this is exactly what they need in order to be of continued emotional support to their loved one.

There comes a point where one person may not be able to provide all the care needed by someone with Alzheimer’s disease. It may take an additional person, or even a group of people to meet the personal care needs of your loved one.

Learning to place your trust in other people takes time; learning to place your loved one in the trust of caregivers also takes time. No two caregivers will extend care in exactly the same way; being open to allowing care to be provided in a different but appropriate way will let you become comfortable with the new situation as well as helping the person with dementia to make a smooth transition.

Once the transition occurs, it is common for family members to have feelings of guilt. These feelings are a natural progression from being fully responsible to being only partially responsible. The beneficial trade off is that it becomes possible to meet the person’s physical and emotional needs by sharing the responsibilities.

Being committed to this change is essential in helping this transition to occur. It won’t be a perfect situation, but it is a situation, which is necessary to bring enough balance back into life to allow people to function.

The very best providers don’t always have availability, so planning ahead and knowing the various available options is the best way to plan for the future. Arranging for care while the person with memory loss is still able to integrate into their new lifestyle and routines is helpful. Taking a proactive approach to arranging for care is wise. If you’re caring for someone with dementia, chances are you need support. At the very least, you need a scheduled and specific break to care for your own, personal and emotional needs.

Pre-screening and monitoring every assisted living home and assisted living community’s latest Department of Health Services survey is important to finding a safe environment for a loved on.  This also helps assure you that your loved one is receiving the highest quality of care.

Gaining as much knowledge as possible about your current situation, such as healthcare needs, social activities, memory care, location and financial features, to evaluate and discuss available options is a critical part of a placement service.

Jeff Mascitelli can be reached at (760) 494-7800 or via email at jeffm@carepatrol.com if you have any questions about the topics in this article, or if you would like to learn more about care placement and caregivers for your family.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 at 11:20 am and is filed under Estate Planning, Medi-Cal, Veterans.