Did you know that the month of November is dedicated to honoring and supporting the family caregivers of our nation? During November, National Family Caregivers Month formally salutes the work of all the compassionate family caregivers. These family members are indispensable and invaluable to our society. In fact, without their year-round aid, millions of seniors would have serious difficulties.
Did you realize that there are 53 million of these compassionate individuals throughout the nation? In honor of National Family Caregivers Month, we would like to take the opportunity to share some very important and much needed resources about caregivers and the seniors they care for.
1. Caregivers need respite care. Caregiving can be a tremendous sacrifice in terms of time, money and opportunity costs, especially if a senior loved one has a physical or mental health disability. Often, caregivers are at risk of developing their own health problems due to exhaustion and unmet needs. When respite care is available, caregivers are able to take breaks and care for themselves.
- ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center ARCH helps senior caregivers find appropriate respite care programs and services for their elder loved ones. The National Respite Locator provides a state-by-state list of facilities that can help give family members a break.
- National Adult Day Services Association – This is a professional organization that provides adult day care consumer resources, including an adult day care locator and counseling on choosing the right facility for a senior loved one.
- Senior Corps and Senior Corps’ Senior Companions program provides respite care by matching older volunteers with seniors who need help with daily tasks.
2. Seniors need health care. Are you aware of all the options available to seniors today? We have a list so share with you.
- Department of Veterans Affairs – The V.A. provides a vast array of support services for qualifying senior veterans and their families, including a paid family caregiver benefit. The program is called Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services. Elder law attorneys are strong advocates for senior veterans’ rights and often help secure V.A. benefits if they are denied.
- Medicare — Medicare is a massive federal health program for people aged 65 and older. Senior caregivers might not realize that Medicare covers home health and skilled nursing services in many circumstances.
- Medicaid — Medicaid is a federal-state partnership program that provides health coverage for people with limited income and assets. Medicaid can also pay for long-term care in nursing homes.
- SHIPs — State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, or SHIPs, provide free support to Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers.
3. Seniors need legal planning now. The time to start legal planning for those you love is now. Do you have questions about what you or your aging loved ones need? From advance directives to estate planning to long-term care proactive planning, we are here to help. If you or someone you know would like more information or specific guidance on legal issues, we encourage you to contact an elder law attorney.
We know you may have questions. We know this article may raise more questions that it answers. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with attorney Alan Hougum today.