Caring for an aging family member can be both rewarding and challenging. Studies show that family caregivers spend an average of 20 hours or more each week caring for their loved one, and 23 percent experience a decline in their own physical health over time due to stress.
Here are just a few of the most common challenges caregivers face, and some suggestions for ways to alleviate stress caused by caregiving duties.
- Finding transportation for your loved one. As we age, driving becomes less safe. Caregivers may need to have a conversation with their loved one about when it’s time to stop driving. However, finding transportation to-and-from medical appointments can also be time-consuming and stressful for caregivers. As an alternative, transportation is included for seniors enrolled in the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). Highly-trained drivers pick older adults up at home, take them to the PACE center or outside medical appointments, and then return them safely when their appointments are done.
- Managing multiple providers and medications. Not only are caregivers responsible for providing daily care for their loved one – they are also faced with the challenge of navigating a wide range of medical advice and managing multiple medications. At InnovAge, our team of experts coordinate all of the participant’s healthcare so that caregivers can focus on being a supportive family member, rather than managing every detail of their loved one’s health. Caregivers are considered part of the PACE participant’s care team. We check in with caregivers frequently to make sure their loved one is receiving personalized, coordinated healthcare, including medical and dental care, physical therapy, medication management, nutrition services, and more under one roof.
- Sometimes you need a break. As a caregiver, it is a privilege to spend time with your loved one, but it is also important to manage stress and take time for yourself. Each InnovAge PACE center has a team of recreation specialists focused on providing engaging activities for participants. This can help combat loneliness, as well as relieve pressure caregivers may feel to keep their loved one entertained. Respite care is also available through PACE to give families a short-term break. If approved, the care team will make arrangements for your loved one to stay briefly at a nursing home or assisted living facility at no additional cost.
At InnovAge, we’ve seen first-hand how PACE can be a lifeline for caregivers and older adults. If you are a caregiver and think PACE may be a fit for your loved one, complete our self-assessment
and have a senior care expert contact you directly to learn more.