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One of the Red Hat Society goals in bringing the CCS Caregivers program to our members is to better prepare our membership for these challenges and to remind them of some very important points.
1. They are not alone. Many of your fellow Red Hatters have already faced this issue and not surprisingly, many have faced it with a joie de vivre, that cheerful enjoyment of life that often defines a Red Hat member.
2. You have options. One thing that came through in the recently conducted Red Hat survey on caregiving is that people often had to find the information they needed on their own. Time and again a call was made to have better access information.
3. People often identified that they had a much better appreciation of the impact of aging and caregiving now that they had provided care for another. Yet surprisingly, many of these same people still had not made plans for themselves. Substantially more than 50% of those responding to the survey (people who had seen the impact of providing care face to face), idicated they had no plans of their own.
We wish to use this forum to begin providing you with more information on the choices that exist and the choices you have. Like with everything else Red Hat, this is provided to let you keep control of that enjoyment of life.
Some places to go for more information
Family Care America (http://www.familycareamerica.com) – This is a broad base library of material and resources which allows a user to quickly profile his or her caregiving situation, and instantly receive the relevant information needed to make decisions and solve problems.
Caregiving Online (http://www.caregiving.com) – A site devoted to maintaining wellness for Caregivers of an Aging Relative, Friend, or Neighbor - information in "Online Support" section.
Financing: Online http://lovedonesathome.com – Offers financing solutions for those trying to plan for future caregiving needs for themselves or family members
Story of the Week
This story was shared with us last year by a Red Hatter. She was a physician who had decided to care for her mother at home, despite the demands of her career and despite the fact her mother owned traditional long term care insurance with which she might have paid for a nursing home or care by a stranger. The Hatter felt gratified that she could care for her loved one at home and as a physician she felt the care she could provide was superior to other alternatives. Like many responders to the caregiving survey she felt gratified to be giving back and providing a setting of love in a familiar lifestyle.
There was a downside, however. Because her mother’s long term insurance policy was a traditional reimbursement arrangement, it actually prohibited payment of her benefit because care was being provided by a family member, even though that family member was a physician herself. This may seem counterintuitive. After all people most often would rather be cared for at home by loved ones and who better to provide care than a family member who is also a physician. Yet this is the way that many traditional long term care plans were structured. Fortunately the industry is starting to more fully embrace the value of family provided care. Newer programs recognize the value and need for informal caregivers to be compensated for their efforts.
To learn more about options which support family provided care, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.