The baby-boomers’ retirement and deep cuts to government aid programs will inevitably transform geriatric care in the U.S. But there are a few resources that are important to know about before you take on the role of a family caregiver, that can improve quality of life for you and your loved one.
RRD: What is the LACRC?
LACRC: The LACRC is a program of Partners in Care Foundation. Its mission is to provide support to families caring for persons with brain impairing conditions (such as dementia, ALS, stroke, etc.). Our services include information and referral, family care consultations, support groups and caregiver education, among others. Through our work with the caregivers we are able to significantly impact the care that persons with brain conditions receive at home, which prevents early placement.
RRD: What advice would you give to someone who is becoming a caregiver?
LACRC: Caregiving is a 24/7 job for which most of us are not prepared for. Taking care of the caregiver, through education, support and training, is the best thing we can do for caregiving families. Studies suggest that more than 40% of caregivers pass away before their love ones, so you are a responsible caregiver when you take time to address your needs, relax and enjoy life. That actually makes you a better caregiver.
RRD: There are 11 care resource centers statewide: Are the services needed generally the same across California?
LACRC: All Caregiver Resource Centers provide the same services but resources vary depending of each community. In general, caregiving families need a lot of support and information. Some of them might need additional services such as mental health or counseling.
RRD: LACRC recently added new support groups to its roster of services. Can you talk a little bit about those?
LACRC: We are utilizing new technologies to remove the barriers to services, such as transportation, lack of respite, etc. So we offer support and education through the telephone. This allows caregivers to receive and share information from the comfort of their homes. We have day and evening events so please call 818-847-9141 for details.
RRD: How do you think this type of care, as opposed to nursing home care, affects the quality of life for seniors?
LACRC: Effective caregiving families are able to cope and develop creative strategies which help the person with the brain impairment continue living at home. These skills can be acquired by attending workshops and classes offered free of charge by the LACRC including Powerful Tools for Caregivers and Savvy. Respite assistance is available, so please call us to find out about our next class. Hundreds of families have benefited from these programs already so allow us to help yours too.