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Caring for an elderly parent can be quite difficult, particularly if they have decided to remain in their own home. You must ensure that your parent is eating well, living in a clean environment, remaining socially active and getting the most out of their life.
It can be even more difficult if you are an only child. If you don’t have any siblings to help you care for your parent, you may being to feel over-burdened, under-supported and stressed out! After all, caregiving is a lot of work.
Fortunately there is help available. This article will review some of the resources available for children who are the primary caregivers of their parents.
Non-Profit and Government Programs For Seniors
Many people don’t realize how many government and non-profit seniors programs are available. These programs can reduce the financial burden of caregiving and help your parent enjoy a better quality of life. The most useful programs available include:
Seniors can obtain free meals from churches, senior’s centers and housing facilities. These outings are a great way to ensure your parent is eating well and remaining active socially. Contact your local church or senior’s center for more information.
Government programs like the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) will provide free food to seniors over 60 years of age. Free dog or cat food is also available, helping seniors who own a pet.
Home delivered meals
There are many meals services in California, including meals-on-wheels. These services don’t just provide a delicious and nutritious meal — they deliver some companionship for your parent and improve their quality of life.
Assistance with medical bills and insurance
The Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a very useful source of information for health insurance and medical programs. They provide information on Medicare, health insurance, prescription medications and much more. SHIP will help your parent understand which health-related services they can access.
Senior legal assistance
Some lawyers provide free or low cost legal advice to seniors. Your local Area Agencies on Aging office can put you in contact with lawyers offering this service.
Free cell and home phones
There are a number of programs that offer free cell or home phones to seniors on low incomes. There are also programs that offer significant discounts on the phone bills of seniors. View details of the providers of these offers on this page. Some churches and non-profits also give away free cell phones. Having a phone will make it easier for your parent to contact you when they need help.
Visit Senior Centers
San Diego is home to many senior’s centers that offer a variety of services including:
Free health checks
Most senior’s centers run free health checks including vision tests, blood pressure tests, thyroid tests, glucose tests, and hearing tests.
They often have free meals for seniors and social events.
Senior centers are a great location for your loved one to meet other people.
Advice for caregivers
Caregivers can also obtain useful advice from senior’s centers.
Free financial advice and assistance paying bills
It can be difficult to pay for your parent’s living expenses if you are an only child. Fortunately, there is some help available. Most programs are sponsored by the AARP Foundation. You can also find information at the San Diego Health & Human Services Agency or by calling (858) 495-5885.
Find help online from other caregivers
Caregivers can find support by reaching out to other caregivers online via online communities and Facebook groups. These resources offer free advice on lowering your stress levels and successfully caring for your loved ones. One of the best online communities is the Caregiver Stress Facebook Group.
Keep yourself healthy
Although your focus may often be on the health of your parent, you should also focus on your own health. Being a primary caregiver is very demanding. It taxes your energy and requires a lot of motivation. If you don’t remain healthy, you may find yourself unable to look after your parents. Eat well, exercise, and treat yourself to regular days off from caregiving.
Use an in-home care provider
Home care providers come into your parent’s home and look after them. They cook meals, clean the home, go grocery shopping, help your parents with personal hygiene tasks, provide transportation service and much more. They are available from as little as a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hiring a home care provider allows you to have some time off from the caregiving role. It also ensures that your parent’s needs are met when you are at work or away from home.
How All Heart Home Care Can Help
All Heart Home Care is the leading provider of home care in San Diego. We are an experienced company with a talented management team. Our fully-insured caregivers have the training, energy, and compassion necessary to care for seniors in their home.
If you would like to learn more about our services, contact All Heart Home Care at 619-SENIORS. (619-736-4677).