Family Caregivers

As adults we tend to think of our parents always as the invincible people they seemed to be in our youth. So, when they can no longer care for themselves or their bodies succumb to illness, the reality of becoming their caregiver can be overwhelming.

For those who choose to care for their aging parents at home, the actuality of daily caregiving for an adult with limited mobility, a chronic illness, or diminished mental capacity can be quite daunting. It can put a tremendous strain on the entire family. Home health, home care, and hospice can provide assistance for these struggling families. 

Home health and home care offer multiple services ranging from home nursing, to personal care and both offer respite care for family caregivers. Many people may not be aware that Home care and Home health services can be eligible for Medicare or private insurance coverage with physician referral.

Hospice also offers support for family caregivers. Hospice provides personal hygiene assistance, volunteers who can sit with patients while caregivers run errands, and week-long inpatient care to give family caregivers a respite break.

Always include your respite and family support services in all of your community marketing materials. You should never hesitate to overstate the obvious, because what is obvious to you may not be to someone else.

Here are some ideas to help you promote your services:

  • Call on Human Resource agencies in your area about promoting your care services on their employee portals. Explain how your agency can help caregivers achieve better work-home balance. Suggest that they link to your website for detailed information and a one-on-one assessment. 

  • Sponsor a family caregiver event in your community. Discuss long-term planning, care options, and home care services. Invite financial planners, lawyers, social workers, and the full spectrum of home health and private duty providers to speak briefly about their services.

  • Family caregivers usually accompany their loved ones to doctor visits so be sure to provide your referring physicians with information about your respite care services.

  • Add a link to the Caregiver Action Network’s Family Caregiver Story Project on your website to show your commitment to helping caregivers find the resources they need. Visitors can read about the experiences of other family caregivers and find condition- specific information to help them in their caregiving role.

Visit the TAG Web Store for all your Home Health, Private Duty, and Hospice marketing materials.

Battling Depression with Home Care

Most people think of Summer as bright, sunny, and pleasant, but someone suffering with a depressive disorder might think of it as dark, dreary, and oppressive.

Depressive disorder, depression, is a serious mental condition most commonly categorized by an acute loss of interest in life and a persistent despondency. Most everyone has incidents in their lives that cause deep sadness, but people who feel extreme sadness and overwhelming despair for an extended period of time are likely clinically depressed. Some factors that contribute to clinical depression include:

  • Chemical imbalances in the brain that adversely alter a person’s temperament.

  • Negative thinking which can increase the risk of depression.  

  • Gender: women experience depression more often than men.

  • Medications which can negatively affect mood and behavior.

  • Genetic predisposition: A family history of depressive behavior can increase the likelihood of developing it.

  • A traumatic life event such as death, divorce, or bankruptcy.

  • Serious illnesses:  cancer, heart disease, diabetes, MS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease cause emotional distress that can evolve into depression.

Home health and hospice provide patients and their families with medical and emotional support. Hospice teams in particular routinely deal with depressive disorder stemming from both traumatic life events and serious illness. Hospice teams include social workers, physiologists, and clergy who are trained to recognize and care for patients and family members suffering with depression. 

Remind your referral sources when making your presentations about the advantage of personalized home care for their patients at high risk of developing depression.

Visit TAGwebstore for patient education materials on specific conditions that contribute to clinical depression.

 

Resources:

ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America)

Mental Health America

National Institute of Mental Health

3 Minute Depression Test