Caring for an ailing spouse is a major concern of many families across the nation. When the time arrives, it can be a deep emotional battle for all concerned. Often the spouse is fearful of losing independence or, of becoming a burden to others, sometimes both. The family caregiver, on the other hand, may be feeling powerless because they have no idea what all is involved in obtaining help for their loved one. They may be afraid of making the wrong decisions. Sometimes the caregivers feel they are stretched so thin, not only with caring for their ailing spouse, but also how they are going to find help to assist them in caring for their loved one. Your Area Agency On Aging, and the family Physician can direct you further to other resources according to what each family individual need is. They are professionals, and are use to dealing with these types of situations everyday. There are numerous resources that can offer hope, and assistance, in addressing these special issues. Many options are available, everything from home health care, adult daycare centers, independent living to nursing homes.
Financial matters may also be an issue. Long term assistance may be needed. There are some agencies out there, that are approved by Medicaid and/or Medicare, that will be able to accept payment for services. Home Health Care Agencies that are approved by medicare to do so, have strict guidelines that they have to abide by, for instance, they have to have the proper qualified professionals on their staff. A background check on all employees is required. There are also privately owned Home Care agencies to choose from. However, if they are not approved to accept medicare, they cannot operate as a Home Health Agency. These privately owned agencies can only legally offer non-medical companionship. Many agencies offer help with chores and shopping.
The most important place to start is talking to your spouse. They, of course would need to be included in any decisions that pertain to their lives. They need the caregiver to assure them that they would be treated with dignity and respect, and given choices. This is the time of their lives when they need to be surrounded, by the ones, they love the most. They need to be encouraged as much as possible. Last but certainly not least, The caregivers themselves can make use of the resources, such as support groups, clergy, local libraries, friends and other family members. There may be times that they will need encouragement. Having a sense of humor will help along the way, to enjoy each and everyday.