Services and Support for Family Caregivers of Aging Parents in Massachusetts and Nationwide
Informed Eldercare Decisions, Inc., is a private company dedicated to helping family caregivers make the best care choices for aging parents and relatives with long-term care needs. As a fee based alternative to publicly funded programs we are able to give our clients individualized attention to their unique family caregiving needs.
EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS PROVIDING SUPPORT SERVICES FOR CAREGIVERS of AGING PARENTS in MASSACHUSETTS.
America is rapidly moving to a two-tiered system of long-term care services. One provides a range of high quality services for those who can afford to pay, while the other offers very limited services and often poor quality care. This is, perhaps, the major domestic issue facing Americans today and will loom larger as the impact of caring for a rapidly aging population becomes more urgent. That's the focus of our blog:
"During the presidential campaign, both Senators Obama and Clinton came out in favor of strengthening consumer protections for long term care insurance and encouraging the purchase of long term care insurance. Sen. Clinton even proposed a 50% tax credit for long term care insurance to encourage more people to own it. As we work through the reform of our country's health care system, keep in mind that "health care reform" is not the same as "long term care reform". To read Sen. Baucus' white paper on "health care reform," visit http://tinyurl.com/Sen-Baucus-White-Paper
"a looming shortage of home health aides may soon deprive many elders of the option of remaining at home, instead of being forced to enter a nursing home for a long period of time."
"... As the nation's 78 million baby boomers reach retirement age in 2011, 'They will face a health care work force that is too small and woefully inadequate to meet their needs,' warns a recent report by the Institute of Medicine."
"Children are providing care for sick parents or grandparents — lifting frail bodies off beds or toilets, managing medication, washing, feeding, dressing, talking with doctors. Schools, social service agencies and health providers are often unaware of those responsibilities because families members may be too embarrassed, or stoic. "Some children develop maturity and self-esteem. But others grow anxious, depressed or angry, sacrifice social and extracurricular activities and miss — or quit — school. “Our society thinks of children as being taken care of; it doesn’t think of children as taking care of anybody,” said Carol Levine, director of families and health care at United Hospital Fund, a health services organization that studied child caregivers."
Last November, Indiana University Center for Aging Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine found that one quarter of all family caregivers of Alzheimer's disease patients succumb to the stress of providing care to a loved one and become hospital patients themselves. The study was published in the November 2008 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
The stress of caring for a family member with dementia also results in a high frequency of caregiver hospital visits, with at least one emergency room visit or hospitalization every six months.
While it has long been anecdotally recognized that caring for a family member with Alzheimer's disease is stressful, this work is the first to measure just how stressful providing care is and to examine the impact of this stress on both the physical and mental health of the family caregiver.
The study found that the behavior and functioning of the individual with Alzheimer's dementia, rather than cognitive ability, were the major factors determining whether the caregiver went to the emergency room or was hospitalized.