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Men: Help in Locating Resources for Caring

Taking care of a loved one is a rewarding and fulfilling role that more and more individuals are taking on. Being able to be there for someone you care about when they need you is a blessing. This new aspect of a relationship can be a beautiful thing when balanced carefully with your own needs. In order to create the balance that is right for you handsand your loved one, there are a wide range of services and resources offered to help you.

Specifically men may view resources differently than females. It is thought that the majority of men may feel forced to take on the care giving role totally by themselves in one way or another. Even when other caregivers may be helping out, men are less likely to seek out other emotional help for themselves. There are plenty of people that may be willing to help to make this new situation a little easier for you.

How do you find the resources that you need?

Start with family and friends that are willing to pitch in. They are often more than happy to help out. Sometimes people just have to be asked and they will surprise you with how much they really want to help.

Talk with your healthcare providers to get needed resources.

Some common resources that are ordered by providers (physician or nurse practitioner) are listed below.

-Skilled Nursing Facilities.

-Physical Therapy

-Occupational Therapy

-Home Care Services

-Respite Care

-Speech Therapy

-Complimentary Therapies (Music, Massage, Yoga, etc.)conversation

These providers may also order equipment for your loved one that may be helpful for ease of mobility.

  • Talk with your insurance provider to find out what help is available.
  • Insurance companies usually have websites that help you find your available benefits. Carefully assess what your plan will allow and its specified guidelines. Medicare's website is: http://www.medicare.gov

Taking care of a loved one can mean a lot of different things to caregivers. The benefits of taking care of loved ones are great, but it is important to find a healthy balance. Caregivers can be at a high risk for burnout. The stress of constant care, for a loved one, can wear down the overall well being of the caregiver. It is important for caregivers to reach out for assistance to maintain their own health before it is a problem. There are several good resources that can help you get assistance. So where should you start?

What is respite care?

Respite care is short term care provided by another person, to give the primary caregiver a break.

Respite care can be at home or in a facility. This care should be planned out in advance to be sure of the best care for the individual, as well as allow for a more relaxing time away.

Respite care is not always a covered service by Medicare.

The Area Office on Aging has good resources to help make arrangements if other family members are not available.
This organization offers a wide range of information on how to find needed resources.

Meals~ there are senior dining centers, meals on wheels, and meal delivery services available in some areas.

PASSPORT~ provides a wide range of services to individuals living at home that meet eligible guidelines for in home services.

Volunteers~ sometimes there are local volunteers that are willing to come and sit with your loved one while you complete needed tasks.

The Area Office on Aging website is: http://areaofficeonaging.com  

InternetWhat about Internet websites?

Sites such as the Area Office on Aging can offer a tremendous amount of support for caregivers.

There are online support groups as well as a great wealth of knowledge in regards to where to find assistance.

It is important to fully check out any internet source as some may lack good information or may have ulterior motives.

To determine if a source is worthy look at who created the website. Good sources are written by individuals with a related background or a large organization.

If the website is attempting to sell any product or service it may be biased.

Where can you find support groups?

Finding a support group to talk about the challenges of care giving can be very helpful. Men especially tend to keep to themselves about the difficulties they may be facing in the home. Having a small group of people that are experiencing many of the same situations can provide new insight or a different perspective on a common problem.

  • Church's frequently provide support groups. Such support groups may provide more spiritual guidance.
  • Senior Centers frequently provide support groups as well as activities for a creative outlet. o American Heart Association has a support group finder on their website. This can put you in contact with other caregivers of stroke survivors. http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/strokegroup/public/zipFinder.jsp
  • The National Stroke Association has a website link called Lots a Helping Hands. This website helps to coordinate the information and care giving responsibilities with other family members that may want to help out in a variety of different ways. http://stroke.lotsahelpinghands.com/caregiving/home/

What types of financial resources are available?

There are programs to help ease some of the financial trouble of being a caretaker. The family and medical leave act (FMLA) gives eligible workers the ability to take 12 weeks unpaid leave in a 12 month period to care for an immediate family member with a serious illness. Information on FMLA can be found at: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm

Help with managing financial problems can be found all over the Internet. It is advisable to deal directly with your insurance company or a certified lawyer to assist in difficult situations.

Websites:

The following are some additional websites to provide you with more information about resources: (Please click to view Web sites) :

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Caregiver/Caregiver_UCM_001103_SubHomePage.jsp

http://www.eldercare.gov

http://www.caregiver.com (Local support groups and resources)


References:

Area Office on Aging. (2005). Services and programs. Retrieved from http://areaofficeonaging.com

Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2010). Public health nursing: Population-centered health care in the community (8th ed.). MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Today's Caregiver. (2011). For caregivers, about caregivers, by caregivers. Retrieved from www.caregiver.com

Hutchinson, J. (2005). Male caregivers breaking through the male self-sufficiency barrier to help those in need. Aging in Action, 20 (3), 1-5.

Developed in 2011 by Jennifer Barber, BSN, RN, PCCN at the University of Toledo for Caring~Web©.




Last Updated: 4/20/16