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Background Checking: Resources that Help

Stories fill the news about aides who take advantage of, rather than care for, a parent, spouse or other family member in their home. Drained savings accounts, missing jewelry, and unexplained bruises are all too common experiences. One way to avoid becoming a victim is to conduct an attendant background check. Background checks include: a review of job performance and verification that the information provided to the family caregiver is accurate, and the attendant can do the job that the caregiver needs to be done.

Paid Family Leave goes into effect in California

A statewide coalition of organizations (including FCA) held a well-attended press conference last summer in Sacramento to launch California’s Paid Family Leave program, the first such law in the country. The new legislation, sponsored by State Sen. Sheila Kuehl, has attracted widespread attention throughout the US. Several other states are now contemplating similar measures.

Ask FCA

Q: My father, 82, is living independently in his own home but needs help. He has agreed to have someone help in his home, to do some cooking, housekeeping, shopping and laundry. This will cost about $960 per month and his income from his pension and Social Security is only $1500 per month. He will need about an extra $1000 each month to cover his expenses. Is there help available to pay for the attendant so that he can stay at home?

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Caregving PolicyDigest

This free, focused email newsletter from FCA’s  National Center on Caregiving offers a fresh look at the rapidly changing environment of caregiving. Twice a month—or as developments occur—you’ll receive news about innovative programs, key legislation, policy developments at the national and state levels and latest research.

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Medications: A double-edged sword

“Any symptom in an elderly patient should be considered a drug side effect until proved otherwise.”
Brown University
Long-term Care Quality Letter, 1995.

Controlling Frustration: A Class for Caregivers (Manuals)

Leader's manual describes the methods for conducting an 8-week class that teaches family caregivers the basic steps for learning to relax, to control their negative thoughts, and to act assertively when necessary. Participant's manual includes exercises and homework assignments to supplement the classes. Available in both English and Spanish.

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Communicating with Your Doctor

When was the last time you left a doctor visit feeling satisfied that your concerns were heard and responded to? Successful communication with your doctor demands effective two-way communication. Here are a few tips to consider:

Downsizing a Home: A Checklist for Caregivers

Introduction

Moving is a high-stress life event, the experts tell us, and they're right. Whether it's cross-town or cross-country, whether to a small apartment or a large suburban home, tackling the organizing, packing, discarding, cleaning, paperwork and the myriad other tasks is a major challenge.

When you're older and moving from the family home to a new smaller residence, possibly in a new community or your adult child's home, sorting through decades of family history and possessions can feel overwhelming—even paralyzing.

Toileting (for dementia)

  • Set up the bathroom to make it as easy as possible for the person to get on to and off of the toilet, e.g. having a raised toilet seat and grab bars.
     
  • Notice when the person gives a sign about needing to use the toilet, e.g. agitation, fidgeting, tugging on clothing, wandering, touching the genital area. Have a routine and take the person to the bathroom on a regular schedule, e.g. every two hours. You may have to respond quickly if someone indicates they need to use the bathroom.
     

Incontinence (for dementia)

  • Talk to the physician to see if medication, enlarged prostate or a urinary tract infection might be causing the problem, especially if there is a sudden onset of incontinence.
     
  • Investigate various incontinence supplies. There are many kinds of pads and underwear. Each person will have different needs and different products will work best for each one. A pad inside pull up underwear will provide increased absorption. Do not call them adult diapers, but rather protective underwear.
     

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