Herkimer County
 Departments 

Caregiver Support - Caring for a Loved One

Table Of Contents:
Description:

Caregiver Assistance:

This is a program designed to assist caregivers. A caregiver is a family member(s) or another individual who is taking care of a loved one at home without any pay.


We offer:

  • Information about available services & resources
  • Assistance in gaining access to services
  • Counseling to assist caregivers in making decisions and solving problems related to their caregiving role
  • Training on practical issues related to caregiving
  • Respite care to enable caregivers temporary relief from their caregivers

What exactly is "Respite"? Respite is a period of rest & relief from the duties of taking care of someone. We provide trained aides to go into the home so the caregiver can be relieved of the caregiving duties for a while. Respite may also be available for a longer period of time at a nursing home.

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Eligibility: The caregiver must be taking care of someone 60 years or older, who needs hands-on assistance with at least 2 - ADL's - Activities of Daily Living. ADL's are bathing, dressing, toileting, personal hygiene and transferring.

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Who to call: Caseworkers Jodi @ 867-1124 or Sue @ 867-1415
There is considerable flexibility with the provision of respite under this program. As example: we have provided respite for people so they could go to church on Sunday & then out to breakfast. We also provided respite for someone who had been an avid bowler all her life and now could not because her husband needed so much care.

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Caregiving can be a very draining experience and respite gives the caregiver a break before they break!

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We have also purchased several books on caregiving.  These books are available at your local public library. Please see the section below that lists numerous books on caregiving.

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Hint: If you want to print this page, do a 'print preview' first. If the text is cut off on the right margin, change your right margin to a smaller number.

 

A Caregiver's Bill of Rights

I have the right:

  • To take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness. It will give me the capability of taking better care of my relative.
  • To seek help from others even though my relative may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength.
  • To maintain facets of my own life that do not include the person I care for just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can for this person, and I have the right to do some things just for myself.
  • To get angry, be depressed, and express other difficult feelings occasionally.
  • To reject any attempt by my relative (either conscious or unconscious) to manipulate me through guilt, anger, or depression.
  • To receive consideration, affection, forgiveness, and acceptance for what I do from my loved one as long as I offer these qualities in return.
  • To take pride in what I am accomplishing and to applaud the courage it has sometimes taken to meet the needs of my relative.
  • To protect my individuality and my right to make a life for myself that will sustain me in the time when my relative no longer needs my full-time help.
  • To expect and demand that as new strides are made in finding resources to aid physically and mentally impaired older persons in our country, similar strides will be made toward aiding and supporting caregiver.
  • To (add your own statements to the list)

Read this list to yourself everyday!

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Today's Caregiver magazine's


Caregivers Emotional First Aid Kit

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  1. Smile, it's not funny how often we forget to do this simple act and how well it lifts our spirits.
  2. Call someone who makes you feel good, especially if you haven't spoken with them in a long time.
  3. Have a bite of something sinfully delicious, while being conscious of your own dietary limitations. When was the last time you treated yourself to a snack?
  4. Take a bubble bath, once you make sure that your loved one is safe and secure; nothing expresses caregiver self-care better than a leisurely bubble bath.
  5. Read, pick up that novel or re-read that motivating poem. When was the last time you turned off the television, turned down the phone and read something nice? (P.S. this tip goes very well with tip number 3.)
  6. Get a massage. It's like taking a mini vacation. It will relax you and take care of all the tension you build up every day.
  7. Buy yourself some flowers. You deserve it and the sight and smell of something beautiful and fragrant will give you a reason to smile (see number 1).
  8. Take a walk at a pace that allows you to feel the energy of the wind washing over you.
  9. Go shopping buy something "just for you", something that makes you feel special.
  10. Go online. You can explore different places, find new friends and learn new things. Make the internet your getaway even when you can't get out of the house
Links:
Caregiver Books

At the Mid-York Library Web page there is a "caregiver" page that you may find helpful also; that link is:https://catalog.midnewyork.org/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=caregiver&te=


The public library system has many books related to caregiving that can be very helpful. Listed below are just a few of the books on caregiving that are available at your local public library through the Mid-York System. You can go to your local public library and order them or you can go order them on-line at the Mid-York Library system and pick them up at the public library that is most convenient for you.  The Summaries below are directly from the Mid-York Library System web page and are provided to help you find the books that best fit your needs at the moment.


Complete Eldercare Planner: Where to Start, Which Questions to Ask, and How to Find Help. Author: Joy Loverde. Summary: "Am I doing the right thing?" "I work full-time -- how can I be in two places at once?" "Who's going to pay for Mom's home care?" "How do I bring up sensitive subjects like their money, moving, and not driving?" "Do we need long-term-care insurance?" "Wait! Do I really want Dad to move in?" "Where do my parents keep their legal documents?" "Do they have a will?" Caring for elderly loved ones can be a full-time job--on top of regular work and family responsibilities. How can you cope? The answer is Joy Loverde's The Complete Eldercare Planner, now fully revised and updated with the latest information to help you plan ahead and manage real-life eldercare crises. Everything you need is on these pages, with essential checklists, practical communication tips, free and low-cost resources, web-sites, step-by-step action plans, questions to ask the professionals, record-keeping forms, and The Documents Locator," which helps you to always have access to critical paperwork. Here's a sample of what you'll find inside: EFFECTIVE PLANNING: Where to start -- Getting caught off-guard COMMUNICARING: Opening up the dialogue -- Turning conflict into cooperation -- Getting everyone in the family to pitch in CAREGIVERS: How to tell when your elder needs help -- Sharing the care -- Avoiding burnout EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS: Managing medications -- Coping with hospitalization MONEY MATTERS: The cost of long-term care -- Ready cash LEGAL MATTERS: Estate planning -- Elder advocacy INSURANCE: Getting the coverage you need -- Beyond Medicare HOUSING: Home suite home -- When Mom or Dad moves in SAFE AND SECURE: Minimizing distress over distance -- Accident-proofing the home TRANSPORTATION: When it is no longer safe to drive -- Alternative transportation HEALTH AND WELLNESS: Taking charge of health -- Communicating with the doctor DEATH AND DYING: End-of-life issues -- Saying good-bye QUALITY OF LIFE: Aging with disability -- Family power THE DOCUMENTS LOCATOR"


Chicken Soup for the Caregiver's Soul. Authors: Jack L. Canfield, Mark Hansen, LeAnn Thieman. Summary: A dose of inspiration for caregiving professionals and the millions of souls who help care for family and friends Over 54 million people in America help care for ailing or recovering family members and friends and millions more give of themselves to others through day care, eldercare, emergency and community service. While rewarding, care giving requires tremendous emotional, physical and spiritual stamina. Chicken Soup for the Caregiver's Soul offers a respite to those who give care through inspiring and uplifting stories about the work they do and its power to transform lives. Through awe-inspiring glimpses of real-life experiences of others, readers will find the motivation to overcome a challenging day, welcome recognition for their selfless contributions, and the encouragement to continue making a positive difference in others' lives.


Caring for Your Parents: The Complete AARP Guide. Authors: Hugh Delehanty, Ellinor Ginzler. Summary: No summary available.


Caring for Yourself While Caring for Your Aging Parents: How to Help, How to Survive. Authors: Claire Berman, Deborah Brody. Summary: For women and men who are involved in caring for aging parents, and for those who see caregiving in their future, this empathetic and practical book focuses on the emotional stresses and needs of caregivers while addressing all the practical issues they are likely to confront. The author -- drawing on her own experiences, the experiences of many other adult children, and interviews with specialists in the geriatric field -- discusses the wide range of emotions that can accompany caregiving.Through the voices of wisdom and compassion in these pages, readers will understand that they are not alone and that there is much they can do to help themselves and their parents through the stressful and humbling challenges that so many of us face today.


Coping with Your Difficult Older Parent: Authors: Grace Lebow, Irwin Lebow, Barbara Kane. Summary:  It's always hard dealing with an aging parent, even under the best circumstances. But what if you've had a continually strained relationship with a parent that's becoming more difficult as your parent becomes more dependent on you. Though there's no medical definition for "difficult" parents, you know when you have one. While it's rare for adults to change their ways late in life, you can stop the vicious merry-go-round of anger, blame, guilt and frustration. This commonsense guide -- written by two professionals with more than two decades in the field -- contains practical tips for handling contentious behaviors and sample dialogues for some of the most troubling situations.


Hard Questions for Adult Children and Their Aging Parents. Author: Susan Piver. Summary: Witnessing the declining health of a parent, and the inevitable thoughts of mortality that accompany the process, can take a heavy emotional and physical toll-particularly if parents and children find it awkward to communicate their fears and needs to one another. To remove the boundaries and enhance these necessary dialogues, Susan Piver applies her thought-provoking question-and-answer format to The Hard Questions for Adult Children and Their Aging Parents. With 100 questions on topics ranging from the practical to theemotional, Susan makes it possible to have candid, comforting conversations that will have lasting benefits. The book is divided into categories, including questions for siblings only and for parents only, followed by specific questions regarding finances, health care, legalities and paperwork, housing, relationships, personal history, and spirituality-all designed to facilitate this delicate process and give all members of the family time for contemplation.


The 36-Hour Day : a family guide to caring for persons with alzheimer disease, related dementing illnesses, and memory loss in later life. Author: 
Nancy L.Mace.  Summary: For more than 20 years, "The 36 Hour Day" has been the trusted "bible" for families affected by Alzehimer's Disease and other dementia disorders. Now thoroughly revised and updated, this guide provides practical advice to make care easier and improve the quality of life for the entire family. Updated appendices include Web sites and association listings.


The Complete Idiot's Guide for Care for Aging Parents. Author: Linda Colvin Rhodes, Ed.D.  Summary: You're no idiot, of course. You love your parents dearly, and you want what;s best for them. But as they get older, it can be difficult to figure out how you can make their lives easier. It's enough to give you a few gray hairs of your own ... They gave care to you, and now's your chance to give back. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Caring for Aging Parents will help you through this challenging time-with advice on medical conditions, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and more. In this Complete Idiot's Guide you get: Facts on how aging affects vision, hearing, and motor skills. A chart and tips to help you keep track of your parents's medication. Honest advice to help you decide whether your parents can continue living on their own. Tips on what to look for when choosing a nursing home.


Caregiving: The Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss and Renewal. Author: Beth Witrogen McLeod. Summary: Whether it involves caring for an aging parent, an ill spouse or partner, or a disabled child, caregiving takes us into a new reality. In this powerful, unique book, Beth Witrogen McLeod leads readers through the caregiving journey with unflinching authority and compassion. A rare blend of powerful storytelling and practical information, Caregiving presents advice from leaders in the fields of aging, medicine, finance, and spirituality and explores medical and financial problems as well as such issues as depression, stress, housing, home care, and end-of-life concerns. McLeod also draws on the wisdom of Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and shamanism, and on the writings of current and past spiritual figures.


Caregiver's Reprieve : A Guide to Emotional Survival When You're Caring for Someone You Love. Author: Avrene L  Brandt. Summary: A practical discussion of the emotional challenges of caring for an aged or chronically ill loved one. Combines expert narrative with personal vignettes of four "real" caregivers: "Becca" (49, her son was brain-injured in a motorcycle accident at 19); "Fred" (65, had just retired when his wife developed Alzheimer's); "Nora" (just 34 when her husband was diagnosed with stomach cancer); and "Woody" (as a teenager he became primary caregiver for his mother when she developed MS). Helps readers deal with the reality of tragedy, understand the dramatic changes in life expectations, develop healthy coping styles, and accept the validity of their emotional responses. Chapters cover what it means to be a caregiver, physical and cognitive changes in the patient, the impact on one's beliefs and life expectations, developing healthy coping strategies. Appendices offer detailed descriptions of stroke, head injury, tumors, dementia, MS, Parkinson's and more.

AARP's guide, 'Prepare to Care, A Planning Guide for Families
This guide helps families to discuss and create a caregiving plan for themselves or a loved one. "Prepare to Care " maps out information on how to get started discussing the issue, how to approach a difficult topic, questions to ask, forming a family team, assessing needs, making a plan, basic resources, and includes a general needs assessment and checklists. Families should re-evaluate their plan over time as family circumstances change.
Alzheimer's Association Website
Information on Alzheimer's and Dementia and services avaliable.
Documents:
This document will assist you in deciding exactly what types of assistance your loved one may need.
Falls & Home Safety: Things You Can Do;  Taking Care of Yourself: Get Yourself a Pedometer
Abuse & Neglect: Love Shouldn't Hurt; Types of Elder Abuse; Taking Care of Yourself: Hobbies to Reduce Stress
Recognizing Pain & A Worsening Condition; Taking Care of Yourself: Worried or anxious?
Hospice Care and Crushing Grief
Exposure to Extreme Heat; Stay Hydrated, Stay Safe; Dehydration
Bullies/Dealing with Difficult People
Mental Illness, Depression, Stress
Alzheimer's Disease & Difficult Behavior
Hygiene- Clean Care is Safer Care
Fell Down- Now What?
The Failing Heart
Boosting Nutrition, Boosting Appetite; March is National Nutrition Month
Medication & Alcohol Abuse
Arthritis- Back Safety
Home Safety- Bedroom and Outdoors Areas
Traveling with Alzheimer's Disease
Oxygen Therapy for Lung Diease
Cancer Care
Eye Safety, Eye Health
Using the Health Care Team Effectively
Clean it - Food, Hands, Equipment Tips to be safe
Rights of the Elderly & Protection Seniors from Scams
A Healthy Heart
Nutrition- Taking it Seriously
Back Pain- Lift Carefully
Understanding Difficult & Combative Behavior
Preparing a Safe Home; Alzheimer's Care-Focus on Accident Prevention
Emergencies- Be Ready
Fighting Flu - 3 Easy Steps
Fire Safety
Diabetes - Avoiding Complications
Winter Safety- Indoor & Outdoor
Oral Care
The Plan of Care
Good Nutrition on a Budget
Elder Abuse / Neglect; Tricking a Senior out of money
Emergencies- Take Protective Measures
How to tell if a person with Alzheimer's Disease is in pain
What You Eat Matters; Nutrition and Mental Health; Food for the Brain; Eating and Emotions