Coping with Caregiver Burnout

Approximately 53 million Americans provide unpaid care to another adult, and providing adequate care to a loved one requires over 24 hours per week on average, according to the Caregiving in the U.S. Report by the National Alliance for Caregivers and AARP.

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Woman holding senior woman's hand on bed

How to Identify Signs of Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

Although nursing home care can significantly enhance quality of life for many seniors, emerging data collected in recent years points to an unsettling  pattern. The elderly are some of the most vulnerable among us. A 2020 survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), reported a staggering 66% of staff admitted to abusing residents.

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Chef Mike, San Pedro Meals on Wheels, with one of his delicious meals

Meal delivery services: Food, Glorious Food, at Your Doorstep

Food, Glorious Food, at Your Doorstep by Vickey Kalambakal August 11, 2021 Where do your meals come from, if you don’t cook them yourself? You can stock your freezer with frozen food, but those meals aren’t fresh. You can phone your favorite bistro and have them deliver – as an everyday practice, though, that gets expensive (and may not be so healthy). But we all have to eat! So what are your other options? Pretty vast, actually. These days, a wide range of meal delivery services stand ready to ensure that you get nutritious food when you need it. All sorts of companies are willing to send you prepared meals that you just heat and eat, and some are quite inexpensive.We’ll list the not-for-profit services first. Meals on Wheels sets the standard, delivering meals to those who are homebound. A nationwide network with affiliates in almost every community, Meals on Wheels delivers two meals a day, Monday through Friday. Prices vary, but because Meals on Wheels depends on volunteers to get the meals out, most charge around only $7 to $9 a day for both meals. Most Meals on Wheels branches operate independently. Some can accommodate special diets, for diabetics or vegetarians, for example. Some have strict criteria to qualify their customers, some don’t. Thanks to donations and grants, some (not all) serve customers who can’t afford to pay. Other groups offer a similar service. In Los Angeles County, Project Angel Food brings meals to those with serious illnesses at no charge. In some areas the Salvation Army or local Senior Centers deliver meals. To find out what’s available in your community, search the web (Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, etc) or call your local Senior Center or Chamber of Commerce. Check with your Medicare Advantage Plan (Medicare Part C) or other insurers […]

AARP’s family caregiving & caregiver info

The AARP website is full of good, helpful info for caregivers and caregiving stories.

The entryway: Caregiving Basics. Then there’s Care at Home, Nursing Homes, Medical, Financial & Legal, Life Balance, Community, Local Resources & Solutions, and Stories.

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Recognizing Elder Abuse and Getting the Help You Need

If you or any of your loved ones have experienced any of the following situations or have been hurt, abused, attacked, neglected or mistreated, you (or they) may be a victim of Elder Abuse. Common Forms of Elder Abuse Physical Abuse: Being hit, pushed around, tripped, pinched or having your hair pulled. Entrapment and Imprisonment: Not being allowed to leave the home when you want. Feeling trapped. Not being able to get away from somebody when they’re angry at you because they follow you around. Being cornered in a room and not being able to get away from a person’s anger or rage. Emotional and Psychological Abuse: Being yelled at. Being blamed for problems that aren’t your fault. Being made to feel bad about yourself, guilty, or responsible for the problems of others that simply aren’t your fault. Financial Abuse: Having money stolen for you. Being over-billed for services. Having your signature forged. Being tricked or coerced into signing documents. When a loved one is given documents to sign, when they are not emotionally or mentally able to make decisions for themselves is also a form of financial abuse. Neglect: Not having your physical needs met by somebody who is responsible for doing so. This can mean not being fed, not being helped to the bathroom, or not being rolled over in a bed frequently enough to prevent bedsores when you are not able to move yourself. Neither You nor Your Loved Ones need to Suffer You don’t have to stand for that kind of treatment, and we’re here to help. Its critical that you contact us as soon as possible to help put an immediate stop to the problem, and to keep things from getting worse. How to get help, today Once you recognize that there is an issue, time […]

It can be hard to recognize elder abuse.

Caregiver compensations agreements help with caring for your loved ones

Caring for an aging relative is difficult — and often under appreciated — work.  Many people who serve as caregivers often feel as if they have two jobs — their full-time day job at the office, and the part-to-full-time job of caregiver at home. As their parents age and decline, most of these caregivers end up not only giving up more and more of their time, but also, eventually, their opportunity for more income. Caregivers need to know that it doesn’t have to be this way; that if their elderly loved one (and perhaps the rest of the family) agree, the caregiver can be compensated according to mutually agreed upon terms of a Caregiver Agreement, also known as a Personal-Care Contract.

Elder law attorneys have known about Caregiver Agreements for a long time, but very few caregivers themselves are aware of this useful contract.  A Caregiver (or Employment) Agreement serves to document a caregiver’s responsibilities and hours, and to set a rate of pay that’s in line with local practices and incomes. The contract would then be signed by both the caregiver and care recipient, and eventually shared with the rest of the family.

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When families disagree about elder care, try mediation before litigation

Siblings trying to come together to help mom or dad through the aging process will often run into more road blocks than they expect; and quite often these road blocks are internal. Can mom stay home for a few more years, or does she need round the clock help? Should the sister who lives down the street from dad get financial reimbursement for driving him to doctor’s appointments and the grocery store four times a week? How do you tell mom you think it’s too dangerous for her to drive by herself anymore?

These kinds of questions (and more) can end up leading to huge family fights, and in some severe cases, to litigation. This article in Smart Money suggests that when siblings can’t agree on elder care for aging parents, there is an alternative to litigation: An Elder Mediator.

Elder Mediators are mediators who specialize in elder law, caregiving, and elder decision-making issues. These mediators can “help families work through concerns — and fights — involving caregiving, inheritance, living arrangements, estate planning and related issues.”

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Support for Caregivers of Blended Families

We frequently help divorced or remarrying couples update their estate plans to protect their new blended families, so we know just how significantly the stress of divorce, family upheaval, and tighter finances can impact a family, and how those effects can last years into the future.

We have seen first-hand how the effects of divorce can continue to make waves 20 or even 30 years down the road — not just for the divorced couple, but for their grown children now acting as caregivers.

Adult children of divorced parents often find themselves …

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Prepare For the Day When Your Parent Can No Longer Manage Money

One of the most difficult aspects of caring for an elderly parent (or helping an aging parent who lives far away) is keeping one step ahead when that parent begins to lose the ability to manage his or her own finances. Many seniors can be very resistant to discussing what they feel is an extremely private and sensitive topic. Furthermore, according to this article in, “for many elders, being able to take care of their own finances is an important symbol of independence and self-worth,” and one that they are not likely to relinquish easily.

Unfortunately, an elderly parent’s ability to manage their own money may cease before they are willing to ask for help. In these cases, it may be up to their children and loved ones to step in and help as best they can. What follows is a list of some non-invasive, non-offensive steps adult children and caregivers can take to help aging parents manage their finances.

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