Middle class families usually don’t qualify for much help with caregiving. Home health agencies teach you how to do your part more efficiently. That won’t help if there aren’t enough people in your family or hours in the day to perform necessary tasks.
The rules for additional help don’t usually make allowances for real life circumstances. If all members of a family of three have chronic illnesses, they may need more assistance.
What do you do if you need and don’t think you qualify for help? Where can you turn if placing your loved one in a nursing home isn’t a wise option?
The first place to turn is your Area Agency on Aging. The staff may know about resources in your area. You may not qualify for much, but a few hours of housekeeping and respite care are much better than none.
Next, spend some time searching your budget for ways to trim household spending. This may yield enough money to hire additional help for a few hours each week.
Though friends and family may be too busy to help with remaining tasks on a regular basis, most will have a few minutes or hours here and there. Keep a list of everyone who volunteers to help and what they are willing to do. Some may be able to help with specific tasks for short periods on a regular basis. Others will be willing to help during emergencies.
When people say they are willing to help, take them at their word. You’ll ruin your health if you try to do everything by yourself.
—- Jacqueline L. Jones is author of Unmasking a Diagnosis: How to get Help for a Confusing Chronic Illness or Chronic Disease Without Filing for Bankruptcy. The book is available through Lulu.com and will be available this spring through Amazon.com and other online book retailers.