Bulletin #4200, Caregiver Series: Managing Your Caregiving Needs: Avoiding a Caregiving Crisis
Prepared by Deborah B. Killam, Extension educator, aging and mature adult life skills, University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
If you are an older person* and may need help to continue living comfortably and safely in your own home
- Programs and services may be available in your community.
- Consider making modifications to your home that will make it easier and safer to move around.
- Alternative housing options may be available.
- University of Maine Cooperative Extension. See Caregiver fact sheet #4205, Decisions About Living Arrangements.
- Maine’s Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS). Ask about the availability of Home Care: Where to Find It and Resource Directory for Older People in Maine.
- Your Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Request information about programs and services in your area.
- Your local Community Action Program (CAP). Request information about programs and services in your area.
If you are an older person* and want to learn more about how you can remain healthy and active
- Learn more about the normal aging process.
- Eat properly and exercise regularly.
- University of Maine Cooperative Extension. See Caregiver fact sheet #4209, Dispelling the Myths of Aging; #4208, Elders: Staying Involved; and #4210, Good Nutrition for Seniors.
If you are caring for, or helping to care for, an older person*
- Take care of yourself . . . so you can take care of the older person.
- A support network of family, friends, and service providers will help reduce your stress.
- University of Maine Cooperative Extension. See Caregiver fact sheet #4203, Caregiving: What is it? Who does it?; #4204, Balancing Work, Family and Caregiving; and #4206, Support for Caregivers.*
- Your AAA. Ask about the availability of Connections—A Guide For Family Caregivers in Maine.
- Your AAA and ask to speak to a Family Caregiver Program Specialist.
If you are caring for, or helping to care for, a person with memory loss or dementia . . . OR are concerned about your own memory
- Learn the warning signs for memory problems that are more serious than everyday “forgetting.”
- Become familiar with Alzheimer’s disease: how it is diagnosed and how it progresses.
- Programs and services may be available in your area to help a person with dementia — and to help their caregiver as well.
- University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
- The Maine Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 Helpline (1.800.660.2871) at any time to receive an information packet and talk to a representative. All calls are confidential. Information is also available online.
- OADS for information about Maine’s Alzheimer’s Project and adult day care or other related services that may be available in Maine.
- Your AAA for information about in-home respite services that may be available in your area.
If you want to learn how to make end-of-life decisions easier for your loved ones
- Knowing your options and planning ahead will help you make better decisions.
- University of Maine Cooperative Extension. See Caregiver fact sheet #4207, Planning Ahead; and #4212, Coping with the Death of a Loved One.
If you want to help your loved ones make decisions on your behalf, if there comes a time when you are unable to make those decisions for yourself
- Who will make medical decisions for you if you are sick or have been injured?
- Who will pay your bills or handle your finances if you are not able to?
- University of Maine Cooperative Extension. See Caregiver Fact Sheet #4207, Planning Ahead; and #4211, Putting Legal and Financial Affairs in Order.
- OADS for information about the availability of Aging: Taking Care of Business and Adult Guardianship Conservatorship—Questions & Answers.
If you want to know who you can call to get legal advice or a referral to legal services
- Sound legal advice and assistance complement good planning.
- Legal requirements vary from state to state. Consult a legal professional.
- Maine State Bar Association, Lawyer Referral and Information Service
- For low-cost legal assistance (eligibility guidelines may be used):
*someone 60 years of age or older
- University of Maine Cooperative Extension
- Maine Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS)
- Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)
- Maine Alzheimer’s Association
- Your local Community Action Program
For more information on caregiving, contact your local UMaine Extension county office.
Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.
Call 800.287.0274 (in Maine), or 207.581.3188, for information on publications and program offerings from University of Maine Cooperative Extension, or visit extension.umaine.edu.
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