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Need a break from caring for Mom or Dad? Input needed

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LaurenOT
LaurenOT's picture
Need a break from caring for Mom or Dad? Input needed

Hi All,

My name is Lauren and I work as an Occupational Therapist in home health primarily with the eldery.  One common problem I see is that family caregivers are super stressed and burned out, and my husband and I would like to try and be a part of the solution.

We are looking into starting a service that would match family caregivers with college students majoring in a related profession (medicine, nursing, therapy etc), to provide affordable companion care on an hourly basis.  For example, if you need an hour or two a week to get out and run errands or simply get a break for some mental health, we feel this would be a good solution.  So many caregiving agencies require weekly minimums and take a huge cut, so we are hoping to make companion care more affordable and accessible.

What are you guys thoughts/suggestions?  Would this be a beneficial service?  Is this something any of you would be interested in?  Your input is greatly appreciated!  Thanks!

TerryandMom
Siblings won't help

My mother has moderate Altzheimers. She is 88 years old. She started her decline into this horrible disease about 18 months ago. I have 3 sisters and 1 brother. My brother has moved into moms basement ape works nights but takes care of mom all weekend. 1 sister spends 2 nights. The other 2 refuse to spend nights or help in any way with moms care. I need a break! I'm exhausted! But they refuse to let me hire someone to help as they control moms money and she has ample. I'm on disability and can't afford to pay. Help!

SharingIsCaring
RE: Lauren's Post

Lauren,

I think this is a fantastic idea and something I've even wondered about. My mom had a stroke two years ago and has been in and out of outpatient and inpatient PT/OT. The problem we are facing is that Medicare will only pay for so much therapy a year, based on what progress Mom has made. As I'm sure you know however, stroke patients can almost always benefit from more therapy and exericise. At the very least, they need consistent exericise/therapy to maintain the gains and recovery they've made.

Without Medicare, our only option is to privately pay a PT/OT upwards of $75 for a half hour which just isn''t feasible when I'm looking for someone to work with my mom one or two days a week. I've asked about students and haven't really gotten anywhere. I'm considering posting something on a bulletin board at a local school or looking online.

I guess my advice to you as someone looking for a service like the one you described is to make it affordable. There is no shortage of services and providers who will work with my Mom but they are prohibitively expensive. I realize therapists are trained professionals but in my case, I'm just looking for someone to do some simple exercises with my Mom whose needs have already been identified. If there were a service where I could pay a student a reasonable rate to do some basic exercises/spend time with my Mom I'd jump right on that.

Hope that helps and good luck going forward!

citycarehomehealth
Hello, I own a home health

Hello, I own a home health care agency in Connecticut. I also believe this is a fantastic idea. We know first hand how expensive care is. There are many rules and regulations in the industry and in order to be compliant with taxes, state and federal laws, and pay caregivers a decent wage, an hourly fee needs to be charged which is sometimes more than families can afford.

sis343
Need a break from caring for Mom or Dad

I am a fairly new caregiver for my Mom and I have been thinking along the same lines as you. There needs to be help for caregivers to get a break. I have looked into, for lack of better words, "babysitters" and the cheapist I can find is $17.00/hr. Since I am no longer able to work because I can't leave Mom alone, this is not an option.

I have been thinking there has to be a way to start an organization to give caregivers a break. Have you had any luck in finding a starting point for this? I like the college student idea. However, the hospice company I am dealing with does provide volunteers but they cannot administer medication. This is a huge problem. Any thoughts on this?

Daniel
Such a great idea. Currently,

Such a great idea. Currently, I am caretaking for both of my folks. I moved across the country to live with them. My father has throat cancer and has a tracheostomy. That alone is full time work. Leaving the house for any period of time has become very difficult as he can choke and needs to be "suctioned". Tough situation. There is very little money so hiring an RN would be nearly impossible. But a CNA, or a caregiver who could be familiarized with the care of a trach patient would be so helpful to me and my sister.