Are you getting calls about homecare reduction to your services? I’m hearing from many families struggling to cope. Some are seeing small reductions in their service, and some are seeing some very significant reductions to their services.
During covid you may already be worried about the health of your loved one. Now you have to worry if you can provide the care they need. Or will they be in jeopardy of bigger issues without this care.
Everyday I’m guiding families how to advocate for their loved on with homecare and housing providers. You don’t have to sort through these challenging times on your own!
What Are Your Capabilities Right Now
Getting a firm understanding on what you can and cannot manage right now will help you understand where to adovate. Ask yourself these questions:
– Is your loved one safe without this care?
– Do you, a family member or friend, have the skills to do this task or provide this care?
– Can you manage if this care is withdrawn for more than 2 months?
– Is your home set up to safely managing the care for this loved one?
– Do you feel you can manage this change?
These questions will help you get clarity if you can manage this homecare reduction or not. If you can manage without the services, know that it will help others who need more significant care to keep their services. If you are worried you can’t cope, then we need to come up with a different plan.
When You Feel Like You are Struggling
Being a caregiver is one of the hardest jobs in the world. If you were having trouble managing before the homecare reduction in services happened, then chances are you are really struggling now. Together, let’s review some optons for moving forward.
If your loved one is not safe – this needs to be a conversation with your Case Manager, speaking to exactly why you feel they are not safe without this service. If you feel it could land them in hospital, let them know – their main mission right now is to keep as many people out of hospital as possible. You can also request an Occupational Therapist bring additional equipment into the home that may be of help to make things easier or safer for everyone involved. You may have to look if home is the most safe option right now or would your loved one benefit from more care in a different setting.
If you feel you do not have the skills – ask your Case Manager to come and teach you the skills you need to do the task. They may be assuming you already know how. There is no shame in asking for this type of help. Norquest College also teachers Caregiver Workshops on medications, personal hygiene, incontinence care, mobiltiy & transfers and more help you gain additional skills. Could one of these courses help you?
Can you manage if this is longer than 2 months – be realistic with your Case Manager and clarify what you can do long term and what you can only manage for a short time. Setting the expectation early will help them plan to get services back to you quickly as this passes. If you don’t think you can manage long term, ask them for their suggestions. They may help expedite placement in a different level of care. You may also look at hiring private care part time to give you a break and help you manage longer.
Is your home safe – if you have concerns about the safety of your home, then you can ask the Case Manager to refer an Occupational Therapist to see what other grab bars or equipment could be in the home to help you. I guide families through laying out the home to better manage care needs, and those consultations I’m doing virtually right now. What would help you feel that the home was safe for providing the care – let your Case Manager know what you need. Even if they can’t provide it, they may know how to link you to other professionals for assistance.
Do you feel you can manage – this has nothing to do with your loved one or your home – can you physically and mentally manage these changes? I’m asking you to search deep into the pit of your stomach. If you feel you can, great – thank you for helping Alberta Health Services direct services where they need. If you truly feel this is beyond you, then it’s time to reach out for help. Caregivers Alberta offers caregiver advisors to speak to about your struggles. Having someone understand where you are coming from is so valuable. Sandwiched911 is a resource group of professionals to help link caregivers to businesses that can help with their needs. And if with all these additional supports, you feel you can’t do this – you MUST tell your Case Manager and let them know you’ve reached your limit and they need to create a plan of support.
Things May Get Tougher, Before They Get Better
No one has the crystal ball to know what to expect in the next couple months. Keep checking in with your Case Manager to see when to expect services can return. Check in to let them know how you are coping and what your limitations may be. And if you need supports, ask and advocate for them.
You Are Not Alone
I want to challenge you to call your Case Manager to have this conversation if you haven’t already. I want you to reach out to other organizations that can support you that I’ve mentioned. I want you to call me if you need to take advantage of my FREE 1/2 hour consultation to review what is going on in your world and gain the confidence to have these conversations to advocate for yourself and your loved on. I don’t want to see your struggle.
I want you to glide through these strange times with grace and a deeper connection to your loved one. I want you to feel heard, and be a valuable part of the care team. I know you can confidently advocate for the supports you both need to manage through any homecare reduction. You’ve got this. And if you feel you don’t, you have me to lean on to help you navigate through these changes and confidently advocate for your ability to continue to age in place where you live.