Celebrating National Family Caregivers Month in Austin
Austin family members, friends, and neighbors devote countless hours to providing care to relatives and loved ones every year. During National Family Caregivers Month, we recognize and thank these unsung heroes who do so much to keep our families and communities strong.
The Caregiver Action Network (CAN) is encouraging people to be curious about elder care. “Family caregivers want their loved ones to have the best care possible – at the doctor’s office, at the hospital, and at home. They encourage family caregivers across the country to ask questions, explore options and share in the care decisions that affect the health and well-being of their loved ones”. Here is what CAN suggests we be curious about:
Your Loved One’s Goals
You know your loved one better, and spend more time with them, than anyone else does. Talk to them about what their goals are for treatment and their care in general. It can be hard to talk about goals when facing a disease. But these talks help make sure your loved ones are getting the care they want.
Is your loved one responding well to treatment? If not, ask your doctor if there are other options. New treatments are available every day. Whether it’s a different dose, a new medication, or a new procedure, speak up and ask your doctor if there are options you and your loved one should consider.
The internet is a great research tool, but it can also be full of conflicting, and even dangerous, advice – so don’t stop there! Be curious about that article you just read. Is it from a reliable source? Talk to friends, family and doctors to ask as many questions as possible to learn about your loved one’s condition.
The Care Plan
If your loved one is in the hospital, be sure to ask what happens next. Will they need home care after being discharged? Are there new medications or procedures you will need to manage at home? Will you be trained on what to do and how to do it? A lot of care happens at home and you need to be prepared to provide that care.
Don’t be shy about asking questions about insurance coverage. Is your parents’ Medicare plan the best option or should you change plans during open enrollment? Was a medication switched for a medical reason, or because your insurance no longer covered it? If coverage was denied, what can you do to change their minds?
Family caregiving is not always easy, but the more you know, the more you can help provide care.
Caregiver Action Network (CAN) is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. CAN serves a broad spectrum of family caregivers ranging from the parents of children with significant health needs, to the families and friends of wounded soldiers; from a young couple dealing with a diagnosis of MS, to adult children caring for parents with Alzheimer’s disease. CAN (the National Family Caregivers Association) is a non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge. To learn more visit: https://caregiveraction.org
BrightStar Care of Austin knows family caregivers provide care around the clock and we offer support 24/7 providing a full continuum of private duty home health care services including companionship, personal care, transportation, medication assistance, and skilled nursing. We proudly serve Central Austin, Eastern Travis County, North Austin, East Austin, West Austin, Lake Travis, South Austin, Round Rock, Georgetown, and Tarrytown.
For more information on how BrightStar Care supports seniors and families, and to learn more about our local team of caregivers, skilled healthcare professionals, and home health care support for Austin families and businesses – Please Click Here