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Caregiving; Key Q&A.

* Where can I find information about programs in my community to help me with the caregiving task?

The Eldercare Locator can connect you with a broad range of services in your community, such as transportation, home-delivered meals, legal services, social opportunities and respite care. Call 800-677-1116, 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Eastern), weekdays. Additionally, your area agency on aging is a good place to start.

* We're thinking about nursing home care, but it may be months-even years-away. Should I start looking now?

Yes. Many of the best facilities have long waiting lists. Starting now gives you a head start on research and allows you to involve your loved one.

* My mother has several health care providers and is on different medications. How do I find out about possible drug interactions?

Put all the medications in a sack and take them to your pharmacist or one of the prescribing physicians. Or make a list of each medication to share with these professionals. (In either case, be sure to include nonprescription drugs and herbal/natural remedies.) Provide each health care professional with a list of medications your loved one is taking. And use one pharmacy so the pharmacist maintains a complete record of all the prescribed medications.

* Should I join a caregiver's support group?

A support group can provide you with an opportunity to talk with other people who are dealing with many of the same caregiving issues. These groups not only provide a safe place to receive emotional support; they can also be a good resource for caregiving strategies. You can learn from other people's successes and mistakes.

* My father doesn't like me to bathe him, but he won't take a bath on his own. What should I do?

Most people don't need a daily bath. A sponge bath will often suffice. When you do have to bathe him, respect his modesty. Cover him with a towel, and remember to keep the bathroom and water temperatures at a comfortable level.

* I don't see how I can get everything done. What should I do?

Don't be afraid to ask family and friends for help. Ask for ongoing assistance, such as having a friend of your mother's take her shopping once a month. List all the tasks that need to be done, and ask each volunteer to commit to one task. You can also look into hiring someone to help with caregiving duties. See if there is a support team or care team network in your area or church or through an end-of-life local coalition. Visit The Support Team Network's website at

* How is hospice care different from care provided in a hospital or nursing home?

Hospice is a concept of care designed to provide comfort and support to individuals (as well as their family and friends) who have a life-limiting illness that no longer responds to curative treatment. Hospice is not intended to prolong life or hasten death, but rather to improve the quality of the patient's remaining life by offering comfort (control of pain and discomfort) and dignity. Hospice also focuses on the emotional, social and spiritual impact of the illness on the patient as well as his or her family and friends. Hospice offers grief counseling before and after the death. About 80 percent of the time, hospice care is provided in the home or nursing home.

* My mother has become incontinent. Do we just need to live with it?

No. About 80 percent of incontinence can be helped with various treatments available for loss of bowel and bladder control. It's important that you don't accept incontinence as inevitable. Much depends on the cause and how aware and alert your mother is. Ask your health care professional about which course is appropriate. In the interim, reminding your mother to visit the toilet every couple of hours can minimize the problem.

"Key Findings from 'Caregiving in the U.S. National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP' Survey." April 2004. National Alliance for Caregiving. Accessed February 8, 2005.

"Housing Choices." American Association of Retired Persons. Accessed February 8, 2005.

"What Is Hospice?" Hospice Foundation of America. Accessed February 8, 2005.

National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. Accessed August 11, 2004.

ABA Commission on Law and Aging Accessed August 11, 2004. Sabatino, C. "10 Legal Myths About Advance Medical Directives."

American Association of Retired Persons. Accessed August 11, 2004. "Health Professionals, Patients and Caregivers," AARP. 1995-2001.

American Association of Retired Persons. Accessed August 10, 2004. "Caregiving: Involving the Whole Family in Caregiving," AARP. 1995-2001.

The Alzheimer's Association. Accessed August 10, 2004. "Caregiver Stress," The Alzheimer's Association.

The Alzheimer's Association. Accessed August10, 2004. "Glossary," Alzheimer's Association 2004.

Family Caregiver Alliance. Accessed August 10, 2004. Fact Sheets: "End-of-Life Decision-Making," "Legal Planning for Incapacity," "Durable Powers of Attorney and Revocable Living Trusts," "Out-of-Home Care Options," "Behavior Management Strategies (Dementia)".

"Family Caregivers of Dementia Patients May Be More Vulnerable to Illness," summary of study conducted at Ohio State University; November/December 2000 issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Accessed August 10, 2004. "Financial Caregiving: a Survival Guide," published by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The Federal Trade Commission and the American Association of Retired Persons. Accessed August 10, 2004. Aging Parents and Adult Children Together A/PACT (series of articles).

Harrington, Charlene, et al. "Does Investor Ownership of Nursing Homes Compromise the Quality of Care?" American Journal of Public Health. Sept. 2001; 91:1452-1455.

Katz, Steven, et al. "Gender Disparities in the Receipt of Home Care for Elderly People With Disability in the United States." Journal of the American Medical Association 2000;284:3022-3027. Accessed August 10, 2004.

The Mayo Clinic. Accessed August 11, 2004. "Caregiving: The Importance of Maintaining a Support Network." Mayo Clinic, Rochester NY.

The Milbank Memorial Fund. Accessed August 11, 2004. Stone, Robyn I. "Long-Term Care for the Disabled Elderly: Current Policy, Emerging Trends and Implications for the 21st Century." Date created: January 2000.

National Alliance for Caregiving. "Caregiving Tips". Accessed August 11, 2004.

National Family Caregivers Association. Accessed August 11, 2004. NFCA home page.

National Association for Home Care. Accessed August 11, 2004. "How to choose a home care provider," published by National Association for Home Care.

National Women's Health Resource Center. Accessed August 11, 2004. "Incontinence/Overactive Bladder," published by National Women's Health Resource Center.

National Women's Health Resource Center. Accessed August 11, 2004. "Multiple Sclerosis," published by National Women's Health Resource Center.

Public Broadcasting Service/Channel 13. Accessed August 11, 2004. "End-of-life tools," Web site accompanying "On Our Own Terms," a Bill Moyers/PBS series.

Rosalynn Carter Institute for Human Development. Accessed August 11, 2004.

University of Puget Sound. Accessed August 11, 2004. Stone, Ronald G., ed. "Gerontology Manual," 1996: University of Puget Sound: School of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy, (1996).

National Mental Health Association. 1997. Accessed August 11, 2004. "Stress - Coping with Everyday Problems."

National Women's Health Resource Center. Accessed August 11, 2004. "Stress". Published by the National Women's Health Resource Center.

Yale University School of Medicine. Study on falls (summary) reported in Medical Care 2000;38:1174-1183.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed August 11, 2004. Cohen, M.A., Weinrobe, M., and Miller, J. "Informal Caregivers of Disabled Elders with Long-Term Care Insurance," report submitted to the Robert Wood Foundation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. January 2000.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Care Financing Administration. Accessed August 11, 2004. "Medicare and Advance Directives," Publication No. HCFA 02175.

Editorial Staff of the National Women's Health Resource Center 2002/02/20 2005/03/16 As the U.S. population ages, more and more families are facing the difficult task of caring for a frail elderly, chronically ill, or disabled loved one. Adult daycare center ,Advance directives,Caregiving,Do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders ,Durable power of attorney for health care ,Hospice,Living will,Palliative care
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Publication:NWHRC Health Center - Caregiving
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 16, 2005
Previous Article:Caregiving; Questions to Ask.
Next Article:Caregiving; Overview.

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