Vol. XX, No. 2, Spring 2012
By Marleen Spengler
After two years of operation, the Caregiver Homes teams continue to receive positive feedback from the more than 137 families that have been helped by this state financial support program.
Comments such as:
The Caregiver Homes program supports caregivers who are caring for frail individuals in the community. The skilled team consists of a registered nurse and a care manager who identifies strategies for the caregiver, make referrals to community agencies and both support and validate the caregiver for the care that they are providing.
The program offers a tax-free financial stipend to enable caregivers to continue to provide their services in the home…as well as paid respite care when needed.
With the establishment of appropriate support systems, realistic expectations, relief from the caregiving role when needed, and financial support, caregivers can, and do, derive a great deal of personal satisfaction from their role.
The term “caregiving” applies to those people, who despite outside pressures are returning to traditional values of caring and giving. Caregiving is not usually a chosen role, rather one dealt by fate and held by the bonds of love and duty.
Oddly enough, sometimes, it is the very bonds that tie that also create emotional turmoil and lead to caregiver stress.
Changes in emotional and physical status, financial stress, and isolation are some of the major stressors that caregivers face. Providing care for a frail individual is also impacted by the anxiety, health issues of the caregiver, and past relationships.
All of this can be colored, or discolored by the caregiver’s own perception of the situation, and how that role may impact their personal life goals.
Despite the complex situation involved in being a caregiver, this role can be rewarding and meet the expectations of the caregiver and the person who is receiving the care.
Yet, to provide a person with the opportunity to live their life out in the community with a supportive and loving environment, can create memories that will be re-lived by the caregiver long after that role has ended.
Information about caregiving options can be obtained during the Caregiver 101 Series sponsored by Caregiver Homes and the Committee Action Committee of the Cape and Islands, which continues on May 3, 10, 17 and 24. Details are available from Linda Plante at 508-737-8792.
(Ms. Spengler is Caregiver Homes Branch Manager for the Cape and the Islands with an office in Hyannis, 617-981-9171 or www.caregiverhomes.com.)