Did you become an Instant Caregiver?
Thousands of lives changed quickly this month in our area due to the wildfires.
-I know an 85 year-old woman who went to live with her daughter, away from the toxic smoke from fires. When will mom go home?
-I know of a caregiver who lost her home to the fire and is not working as she stands in lines to get food and documents reissued.
-I know two people with dementia who were evacuated from assisted living. One family member is planning to move her relative closer to her rather than returning to the assisted living home when smoke damage clean up allows it to reopen.
-My insurance agent told me many of her older clients are “cashing out” their home insurance after losing their home to the fire and won’t rebuild.
What do these changes mean, especially if we have an older adult in our life? A few thoughts:
1) The availability of assisted living options in our area is tighter than ever, so finding an ideal match will be challenging. A few care homes burned down in Coffey Park and a larger one on Fountaingrove burned. Some others had smoke damage. If you were thinking of finding a place, looking outside the affected counties might be a good idea.
Call me for the names of free assisted living placement agencies in our county and other nearby areas
2) You may have turned into an Instant Caregiver. The immediate “Hey Mom, come stay with me.” was a generous offer, but the reality of being a caregiver (possibly with no training) might be overwhelming now. If you have taken a relative into your home and aren’t sure how to provide care, know that a home care agency employee can come in to train you. Also, agency-trained staff can be hired to do the caregiving, if you can’t or just don’t want to.
Call me for the names of home care agencies that can train you to care for your loved one or do the work.
3) If you need supplies, try a medical supply recycling closet first. They may have medical equipment like walkers, canes, lift chairs, hospital beds, bedside commodes, etc. which you can get for low cost or free. They often have adult diapers, gloves, pillboxes, hygiene and diabetic supplies, etc. too.
SANTA ROSA – Careful Moving and Storage open M-F 10-Noon
812 Donahue Street
PETALUMA – Max’s Home Care open Thursdays 11-3 PM and by appt.
3820 Bodega Avenue
NAPA – Share the Care: 707-226-7127
4) If your loved one lost a home, imagine the shock and grief consuming that person. Some of you may think the fire provides the motive for a relative finally moving near you or into assisted living. It’s understandable that you may not want the person to live alone any more. Have a conversation about options so your relative is involved in the process and choice.
Call me for advice on how to approach your loved one about a permanent move closer to you.
This is a hard time for everyone in our community, especially those of you who may have an older parent who needs your help. Know that you don’t have to do it alone. Ask for help when you need it. Rest when you can. Take care of yourself while you support others. I’m here to help you with all of this: (707) 762-5433.