Aging in Place 101: A not so obvious list of Top Caregiver Resources to Try OutWendy Wiesman
The work of a caregiver is never ending. Strong resources are key to empowerment for both the caregiver and those they are caring for. And while some caregivers are just coming to learn about the effort that goes into supporting and empowering those individuals who are aging in place, others have been a formal caregiver for most of their lives. Whatever the stage, today there are a wide array of organizations and resources working to both support and recognize the work of caregivers. A foundational understanding of the caregiver tools and resources landscape can be a helpful first step to supporting the aging in place process, and for others, a good reminder too of who can truly help.
Literally starting at home is often the best place to start. From emergency contact lists to outlining the many items related to ongoing maintenance and repair of the home, the details that need managing in addition to the caretaking of the individual themselves is yet another thing for caregivers to consider.
offers a free Home Guide Kit that includes worksheets, tips and resources (sometimes with meetings in your state) as a way to sort thru the many items on the caretaker to do list, when staying at home is a priority.
New to the market is a well-known Best Buy. The services from electronics innovator has been refined for seniors through the new
Best Buy Assured Living
offering. Included is an extension of the blue shirt team – referred to as Advisors. Members of the Advisor team can:
- Assess caregiving needs and help determine what’s right for your family.
- Walk individuals through the benefits of Assured Living, including tools and support from the experts at Mayo Clinic and UnitedHealthcare.
- Act as your personal guide
- Be another trusted resource to make living at home easier and more comfortable through the use of technology.
Organizations for Hire In-Home
The coalescence of organizations surrounding the caregiver and the individual in need of support and empowerment is growing. Today, these entities focus on assisting those who assist others while offering the sort of one-to-one care so many are seeking:
- BrightStar Care grew out of the vision and idea that entrepreneur Shelly Sun in 2002 from one location in Gurnee, IL and today offers franchise locations across the country for in-home care and medical staffing. A deep menu of offerings underneath the categories of personal, transitional and skilled nursing care, are available to aging in place individuals and their family members.
- Home Instead was started by Paul and Lori Hogan in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska. Paul’s own family experience caring led him to realize many families could use the help of an in-home caregiver. He and Lori set about creating a company to help seniors to live independently at home. Today, the network has grown to include more than 1,000 franchises around the world — including this office in Houston, TX. Consider finding a Home Instead organization within your community.
Workplace Support You’re Already Paying For
Don’t forget the resources that are often right in front of you. Many workplaces today offer counseling, support and advisory services through their Employee Assistance Program (EAP). While the callout to the caregiver may not always be self-0evident, or even an obvious menu option for all EAP’s today, it’s worth considering a call and checking into as the counseling and professional services available. As these entities often operate at the highest level in this space, providing yet another backdrop of support to you and members of your family. Additionally, they can be a good resource to a plethora of other resources.
Today, Lifeworks focuses on family as one of its 5 areas of support to employees which includes becoming a parent, child care, or caring for an older relative. While your caregiving situation is no doubt a unique one, this resource often has years of experience and staffing to help you thru your journey, wherever you’re at.
While perhaps never an easy task, supporting those aging in place can be rewarding in that is offers insight into the capabilities of others. And in the end, these are likely resources who can be a constant resource to you and your family. Sometimes filling in when you can’t assist, but other times offering the roadmap to what your role supporting aging in place looks like both now and in the future. What more might anyone ask for than that? An army of resources for aging in place at your fingertips, that’s a 101 lesson plan to get behind sooner rather than later.