Here are programs offering services and support to caregiving families.
Aging Life Care Professionals
These professionals understand the process of aging. Plus they know the many physical, emotional and financial pressures that families come under when caring for an older relative. It’s difficult to be objective when a loved one is having problems. Adult siblings frequently disagree about the severity of the issues. And they often have different ideas about the best way to handle the situation. An Aging Life Care Professional provides perspective. He or she can do an assessment and give you and your family a sense of any threats to independence. The Aging Life Care Professional can then recommend home modifications. Or, he or she can direct you to community services, or alternate living arrangements. The goal is to suggest workable options that will support your relative’s current and future needs. Because this type of help is non-medical, it is not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
(888) 607-6027 serving MetroWest in central MA.
Offering “consultation services that help older adults and others with chronic needs, their families and trusted advisors to consider their situation by taking into account their specific needs and desires and developing a plan”.
Elder Law Attorneys
“Elder law” is a special branch of the law that has to do with issues of special concern for older adults. People consult an elder law attorney when they are setting up a living trust. Or when they are creating a will. Elder law attorneys can also help in situations where families are worried that an older relative may no longer be safe living alone at home. Or if they have concerns about a loved one’s ability to handle finances wisely. Elder law attorneys can also advise you about financial options, tax matters and Medicare coverage for long-term care. You might also want to look at the directory of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.Return to top
Especially as retirement looms and income earning years draw to a close, it’s important to have a nest egg. Financial planners can help you manage your loved ones assets. They can also help you determine your own retirement needs and set savings goals while investing your money in a manner that matches your personal style. (Some people are said to have a high risk-tolerance. This means they tend to be more willing to take chances with their money on the possibility that they can earn more interest. Others have low risk-tolerance, meaning they would prefer security and a more predictable rate of growth.) Whatever your investment style, a financial planner can work within your comfort level to help you achieve your monetary goals.Return to top
In-Home Care (non-medical)
In-home care is for individuals who need assistance with personal tasks. These are non-medical in nature, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, or going to the bathroom. Kind and knowledgeable caregivers can provide much needed assistance and companionship so your loved one can stay comfortably and safely at home. Because this type of help is non-medical, it is not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.Return to top
Assisted Living Facilities (ALF)
Assisted living residences are a special combination of housing and personalized support services designed to meet the needs, both scheduled and unscheduled, of those who require help with activities of daily living (ADL). This includes tasks related to bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, and other similar personal care needs. Assisted living is a residential option that promotes self-direction and participation in decisions regarding care and services. As a model of supportive housing, assisted living emphasizes independence, individuality, privacy, dignity, and choice. Assisted Living is paid for through some long-term care insurance policies, or private-pay.Return to top
National and local listing of consumer resources
Provided by the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) to assist in locating organizations, community based and government services.
A website devoted to caregivers of elders in 25 MetroWest towns providing information and connection to resources and community support.
Hospice and Palliative Care
If the person you care for has a serious, life-threatening illness, he or she might start to think more about the quality of his or her days, rather than the quantity. This is especially true if treatments are difficult and offer only a slim chance of recovery.
For those with incurable conditions, whose focus is to remain comfortable and pain free, hospice is a wonderful option. It is available at no cost to persons on Medicare. A nurse makes regular home visits. A home health aide comes several times a week to help with bathing. And the services of a chaplain and social worker are available for spiritual, emotional and social support. A volunteer can even come for a few hours a week to give the family caregiver some time off.
People often think that hospice is only for the last few days of a person’s life. Not true! It is available for weeks and months. Most families say they wish they had signed on to hospice sooner. Palliative care is similar to hospice, but is available even while a person continues to seek curative treatment. Ask you doctor if hospice or palliative care services are appropriate support for your family member.Return to top
Medical Equipment and Supplies
Sometimes you need a large supply of gauze pads. Sometimes you need a recurring delivery of incontinence supplies or a large piece of equipment, but only for a short time. It’s too expensive to purchase outright. Renting would make much more sense than buying. This is when a Medical Supply or Durable Medical Equipment (DME) provider comes in handy. They have specialized materials and assistive tools that are often just the trick to make life with a chronic condition that much easier. And in some cases, particularly with large equipment, they may be able to bill Medicare and any supplemental insurance for you.Return to top