Meeting the Needs of the Client

I am the primary caregiver of my family member/friend, but am not sure how to meet their needs. What should I do?

A lot of people are in your situation. Paid caregivers, whether agency employed or hired directly are only a percentage of people who are caring for people in their homes.

SASI’s recommendations are:

  • Speak to the medical professionals who are providing care to your family member or friend. You may be able to get help and training from visiting nurses or a home health agency.
  • Learn everything you can about the person’s condition or diagnosis. Go to the library. Speak with a medical condition organization like the American Cancer Society or the Les Turner ALS Foundation. These organizations often have a local presence that can help identify resources available and may have disease-specific information. Some even have volunteers that can help with respite care or transportation. They can almost certainly refer you to support groups in your area.
  • Speak to your local Area Agency on Aging. These organizations have a number of resources to help people as they age—from case management to Medicaid-funded home care to bill paying to meals on wheels.
  • Check out Caregiving Help websites. Websites like www.caregivinghelp.org/; www.videocaregiving.org/ and www.caregiver.com/can offer assistance and education.
  • Hire someone to help out, even if it’s only occasionally. Your health as the caregiver is extremely important—you need to take care of yourself in order to care for your loved one. Get out, stay involved with your friends and hobbies, and get the support you need.
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