Maybe you help get the groceries for your mom or care for your husband who has Parkinson’s. In either case you are a caregiver. Sometimes you might be thrown into being a caregiver during a crisis, unprepared; other times it feels right helping another. Your situation is one of a kind. You are not alone. Whether you are looking for help at home; exploring ideas about the options and programs available; or trying to find a specific service like transportation or respite, our Senior LinkAge Line® specialists can guide you. We keep abreast of the growing network of community-based services, housing options, assistance programs, healthy aging workshops, caregiving support groups and more.
Independence can be enhanced in the right environment. No steps, no outdoor maintenance or heavy chores can be just the ticket for staying at home. Bringing in services such as bathing assistance, medication management, meals, rides or a friendly visitor may be the perfect solution. As you might suspect, a move to a more supportive environment with health related services offered in addition to meals, housekeeping and laundry comes with a price tag, and a contract. In Minnesota, before you sign a lease in a registered housing with services establishment you need to contact the Senior LinkAge Line® for Long Term Care Options Counseling. The specialist will ask you some basic questions and discuss your options. A verification code is generated which the housing provider requires.
TIP: If you are calling Senior LinkAge Line® for a housing verification code on behalf of your loved one, be prepared to either have them on the phone as well; or provide (fax) proof that you have power of attorney.
Our Community Living Specialists can discuss services and supports available in your community to meet your needs at home and help make those arrangements. Returning to the community typically involves a number of players: the person is in the center and the social worker or discharge planner, nurse, physician, family, caregivers are part of the planning team. Our Community Living Specialists visit in person a number of times to make sure the plan is working. Some folks may be able to have phone follow-up for up to five years.
Our specialists can review your financial situation and help determine whether programs such as elderly waiver, alternative care, Medicare savings or drug assistance might be of benefit. We can provide you with applications. One-on-one assistance can also be arranged if needed.
In Minnesota there are provisions for protecting the community assets of a couple when one partner needs financial assistance to pay for long-term care.
Our Senior LinkAge Line® specialists have the current information on Medicare, health insurance options, prescription assistance, and long-term care insurance. The Senior LinkAge Line® is Minnesota’s State Health Insurance and Assistance Program (SHIP). We can help resolve billing errors, compare health or drug plans and fight fraud and abuse.
The Medicare website www.medicare.gov is a valuable resource.
Caregivers can find themselves giving more and more without time for regenerating themselves. Take care of yourself so you can be the best caregiver you can be. Ask for help; take a break. Senior LinkAge Line® specialists can help you locate caregiver support groups or a caregiver consultant.
There are tools to help manage stress. Powerful Tools for Caregivers is an educational program for those caring for individuals with long-term health issues. This is a well- received, six-week education program geared for caregivers assisting loved ones. Many class participants report that they have fewer feelings of anger, guilt and depression as well as an increased confidence in coping with the demands of caregiving. There are several trained leaders in the region who lead the sessions. See our calendar for a class near you.
Living Well with Chronic Conditions (CDSMP) is another class for those coping with health conditions that may not go away. Led by a certified trainer, this program is a motivational, interactive educational model. Over six weeks participants learn to better manage and cope with chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, or congestive heart disease.
Here’s a well-kept secret that needs to be told– the website at www.minnesotahelp.info offers a wealth of information and resources for all ages. You can save searches; use the Long-term Care Navigator tool to help determine your needs and see what services may be available. Here you can save a search, share it with family and change it as needed.
There are seven risks that are the most common factors in a permanent move from home, but action can be taken to reduce their impact. Understanding your risk factors is key to staying in your home. Take the risk screening to find out how you can Live Well at Home℠.
Go to www.mnlivewellathome.org. Learn about the risks that could cause you to move from home, and what you can do -today.