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Your Health Blog

    Caregiving Resources

    Wendi Tingley, Home Care Manager, and Andrea Walker, Hospice Manager Hospice Manager, Deaconess VNA Home Care & Hospice 11/11/2015

    Caregiving is an increasingly-common role in America. Seniors are living longer, and often there are family members and friends who are helping to look out for their well-being. In our roles at Deaconess VNA, we work with many caregivers, especially those who are caregiving seniors. Often those caregivers are adult children who are still working, and may be finishing up raising their own children as well. People in that situation are often referred to as being in the “sandwich generation.”
     
    In this article, we want to let you know about various services and resources for caregivers.  These will include services from Deaconess, Deaconess VNA, and many community resources and options as well.


    Deaconess & Deaconess VNA Services for Caregivers

    Home Care
    Home care is for individuals who have had a change in their health that requires in-home care and therapy. This often happens after a hospitalization, and can be short or long term depending on the need of the patient.
     
    This can be very helpful when the patient qualifies, because caregivers are no longer as concerned about transporting their loved one to appointments, physical therapy and other health care needs that had been handled outside the home.
     
    A referral from a physician is needed, so we encourage anyone who may be wondering about whether home care is appropriate to contact their family doctor.
     
    We can also help answer questions about qualifications, and help facilitate the needed referrals. To talk with one of our intake nurses, you can call us at (812) 425-3561. You can also learn more at www.deaconessvna.com
     
    End-of-Life Care
    Deaconess VNA also offers hospice care. Hospice care is growing in both need and demand, as people are recognizing its value. Hospice care is appropriate for patients who have a terminal illness with a life expectancy of less than six months, and are no longer seeking curative treatment.  Hospice services are covered by Medicare and insurance.
     
    This care is not only for the patient themselves, but also for the family and loved ones of the terminally ill person. An entire team of care providers become involved in caring for the entire family.
     
    Hospice care can have many benefits including:

    • In-home care
    • Medications and other needs for symptom management
    • Home medical equipment
    • Spiritual and bereavement services
    • Many services from caring hospice volunteers.

     
    Hospice care can also include in-patient care for particular circumstances. This in-patient care is provided at either Charlier Hospice Center, or in an in-patient wing at Deaconess.
     
    As you may’ve heard, a new the Linda E. White Hospice House is being constructed on the Deaconess Hospital main campus.  It will be a beautiful facility, with many wonderful spaces and amenities for families as well as hospice patients.  It is scheduled to open in January 2017.
     
    For more information about this service, please call us at (812) 425-3561. You can also learn more at www.deaconessvna.com
     
    Support Systems
    Another set of services offered by Deaconess VNA include support systems for seniors still living at home.
     
    These include:

    • Telehealth monitoring systems, which can monitor a patient’s vital signs in the home, letting our staff know of any concerns or changes as they happen.
    • Personal emergency response systems, including Phillips Lifeline with automatic fall detection.
    • Medication management dispenser, which dispenses the right medicines at the right times automatically.

     
    For more information about this service, please call us at (812) 425-3561. You can also learn more at www.deaconessvna.com
     

    Deaconess Primary Care for Seniors
    For patients 65 and older, Deaconess Primary Care for Seniors (DPCS) may be an excellent choice. These are physician offices that specialize in the care of older adults, staffed by gerontologists and other senior care experts.
     
    Care Coordinators also help patients and families at DPCS. They are specially trained social workers who can answer extensive questions about senior care, and help make arrangements for many of the services we’ve been discussing.
     
    For more information about DPCS, visit http://www.deaconess.com/seniors

    Community Resources & Services for Caregivers

    Companion Care
    This type of care does not require a physician order, and is not really related to health care as much as it’s about helping meeting the day-to-day needs of someone who needs some extra help.
     
    Examples of this type of care/service include:

    • Cooking
    • Dressing and bathing
    • Light housekeeping
    • Errands
    • Companionship

    And in some cases, nurse visits can also be arranged, even if the patient doesn’t fully qualify for home health care. Another importance difference is that these services must be paid for by the patient or family and are not covered by insurance or Medicare/Medicaid; however, some long-term care policies may cover aspects of private duty care and nursing.

    Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
    On their website, you can find extensive information about a variety of senior and caregiving issues, including:

    • Home/community-based supports for the elderly
    • Transitioning from home to other housing, including community based settings, assisted living or nursing home
    • Understanding Medicare benefits
    • Assistance with transportation, meals, medication, mobility concerns, etc.
    • Find elder law attorneys
    • Learn about long-term care insurance

    The link to the Indiana FSSA page specializing in issues of aging is http://www.in.gov/fssa/2329.htm
     

    Indiana Legal Services
    Indiana Legal Services (ILS) is a non-profit law firm that provides free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income people throughout Indiana. ILS helps clients who are faced with legal issues that impact their basic needs such as shelter, income, food, medical care or personal safety.
     
    The local chapter here in Evansville includes specially-trained senior ombudsman staff that can answer many senior-related legal questions, and help with legal matters including needed forms and other resources.
     
    For more information, visit http://www.indianalegalservices.org/
     
    SWIRCA
    SWIRCA—the Southwestern Indiana Regional Council Aging—provides a wealth of services for seniors and their families. Some are social, such as hot lunches, games and bingo, and other activities. Others services help meet more extensive needs, including:

    • Nursing home placement
    • Respite care, so family members can have a break from caregiving
    • Case management and advocacy for seniors
    • Arrangements with Meals on Wheels, which delivers hot lunches to seniors on weekdays.

    SWIRCA also offers an extensive online resource database of MANY senior-related services in the community and region. For more information, visit www.swirca.org
     
    Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resources
    While not all caregiving situations involve Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, those that do are often the most challenging. The local (and national) Alzheimer’s Association offers extensive help and resources, including support groups for caregivers, social gatherings for those with memory loss, and more. For more information visit www.alz.org.
     
    We hope this information has been helpful to you.  Caregiving is challenging, but often rewarding.  Having knowledge about resources and services that can help you and your loved one makes it easier.
     
    For more information about some of the specific financial issues related to in-home services, long-term care, etc. read our “It’s Raining Now” blog.

     

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