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An ongoing series of informational entries

Qualities of a Great Caregiver

August 19, 2018

What Being a Great Caregiver Means

from: http://www.matrixcare.com/blog/great-caregiver-means/

Caregivers are all around us. But that doesn’t mean they are all great caregivers. When it comes down to what separates the caregivers from the great caregivers there are some marked traits and work habits that stand out. Those who have experienced a great caregiver could make a list of what makes them great and sets them apart from the crowd.

Here are some of the traits that make someone a great caregiver:

Empathy and compassion. Working with people in a home care setting, it is essential that a caregiver feel the desire to want to help. By showing both empathy and compassion caregivers will let the person they are caring for know that they care about the person and want to do what they can to help them.

Patience. When you work with someone who needs home care it is important that you are patient and understanding. It helps to sometimes put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see what it might be like to ask people for help.

Reliable. A great caregiver is someone that can be counted on to be there. If the caregiver says he or she is going to be there to provide home care every Thursday morning, then the caregiver shows up, unless there is an emergency. Those needing home care services need a reliable and dependable caregiver.

Trustworthy. Most people who need home care services are in a vulnerable position. They are inviting someone into their home to be near their valuables. A good caregiver is someone who is trustworthy in this regard, as well as in being trusted to keep the client’s information confidential.

Flexible. As with most things in life, home care needs may change and unexpected events can happen. A good caregiver will be prepared to go with the flow, being flexible, so that they continue to provide good home care, even if a rigid schedule isn’t being followed.

Good home caregivers are those who naturally have an urge to help others. Often times they are people who have always placed a priority on helping other people. They want to make the world a better place and they do it with one home care patient at a time. Becoming a good home caregiver isn’t something that will necessary happen immediately, but if the basic qualities are there, those people can develop their skills over time to become great!

Developing a Caregiver Back-up Plan

August 19, 2018

by Lissa Marcucci

from http://www.thesomervilletimes.com/archives/85881

Providing in-home care for someone who needs daily assistance is a major commitment. It’s not something people enter into lightly – and for that reason, it’s important for a caregiver to have a backup plan ready before it’s needed.

I recently spoke to a fellow social worker who saw the importance of a backup plan firsthand He was working with a caregiver who believed that a family friend would step in to provide care if needed. However, the caregiver never discussed this plan with that friend. When the caregiver unexpectedly landed in the hospital, the friend was not in a position to help.

This created a short-term crisis that sent the person receiving care to a nursing home. Fortunately, the caregiver returned home in only a few days. However, this story underscores the importance of a backup plan.

Is your caregiver backup plan in order?

Here’s a few quick tips that can help ensure that you’re ready for the unexpected:

Plan Together: A backup plan is only helpful if everyone involved is on the same page. Granted, discussing worst-case scenarios can be difficult. Caregivers may feel more comfortable just hoping that one or more family members will step in if there is a crisis. However, this assumption can cause confusion or resentment, or worse, inadequate care for the dependent person.

To ensure the well-being of this person, a backup plan requires a commitment from the prospective backup care providers. The only way that the caregiver can receive this commitment is to begin the discussion.

Think Short and Long Term: At a bare minimum, caregivers should have a short-term backup plan for emergencies. Since life is unpredictable, it is also important to consider longer term care as well.

A longer term plan may be particularly relevant for parents who are caregivers of disabled, adult children. Will the parent be able to provide the necessary care as they themselves age? The adult child may want to live more independently in a residential setting with peers or direct their own care, relying on paid care attendants. Again, starting a discussion about the future care needs of a dependent child can be difficult. But beginning this conversation brings the reward of knowing that your loved one’s future care needs will be met.

Investigate Caregiving Resources: Caregivers often depend on their family members and social networks for backup when the going gets tough. There are many other resources available to support them as well. For example, one MassHealth funded program, Adult Foster Care, provides training, financial compensation and paid time off for caregivers. Local elder service agencies are an excellent place to start to learn about connecting with this program, as well as other kinds of in-home support and caregiving resources.

Hopefully that’s enough to help you get started. Developing a caregiver backup plan can be challenging, and sometimes there is no perfect answer. But it’s always better to know your options ahead of time, instead of waiting for a crisis.

Lissa Marcucci is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who works for Adult Family Care (AFC), a non-profit Adult Foster Care program at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services that provides compensation, training, and other supports for in-home caregivers across the Greater Boston Area. For more information, visit adultfamilycare.org or call 617-628-2601.

Who Needs Fixed Index Annuities?

August 22, 2018

By Patrick Anderson, CFO, Premium Home Health Care, LLC | Brand Contributor, Forbes.com

Fixed index annuities (FIAs) have risen in popularity over the years. With the potential for growth and no direct stock market risk, it’s no wonder many people are choosing an FIA as their preferred financial product.

But, how do they work? Is a fixed index annuity right for your retirement portfolio?

Read more: Fixed Index Annuities

Patrick Anderson, President of Unifirst Financial, is a registered tax professional with more than 12 years of experience in the financial, insurance, and tax industries. As a licensed financial and retirement professional, he engages in tax-free income planning, catering to the needs of his clients. He holds his bachelor’s degree and graduate certificate in U.S. taxation. He has earned his designation as Certified Financial Education Professional and Certified College Plan Specialist.

What Does Long Term Care Insurance Cover?

December 19, 2018

By Samantha Stein

Contrary to the popular belief, Medicare doesn’t pay for long term care, such as nursing home, home healthcare and other forms of long term care. In case you’ll need long term care in the future, you might end up outliving your retirement savings.

Long term care insurance is designed to help individuals pay for long term care services and facilities in the event that they can no longer carry out at least two of their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) – eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring and incontinence.

But what does long term care insurance cover?

Here’s everything you need to know.