As family caregivers juggle work, family, and caregiving for elderly parents, it is important to be informed as to what additional resources are available for assistance. Consider the following:

— Professional in-home care: Hiring an in-home care agency is the way to keep elderly family members safe and well-cared-for, while allowing working family members to continue in their careers. In-home care staff can perform many of the tasks that family caregivers find themselves doing as their elderly parents become more frail: meal preparation, medication reminders, assistance with personal grooming and hygiene, transportation, and housekeeping.

— Employer programs: American companies lose an estimated $25 billion annually due to the lost productivity of caregiver employees. Find out if your company offers family leave, flex time, telecommuting, job sharing, or an employee assistance and wellness program with resources for caregivers. More and more companies are learning that caregiver support programs make a big difference for employees, and in turn benefits the company by cutting down on the cost of turnover and training.

— Support resources and public benefits: Take time to educate yourself on support services that are available in your town, community, and region. If your loved one lives at home or with you, check into federal, state and local programs, such as nutrition programs, respite care, veterans benefits, and financial assistance with healthcare, tax relief, or utilities.

Being the primary caregiver can have a huge impact on your career, both emotionally and in dollars and cents. Be informed as to regional resources which may ease your work load.
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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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