Wednesday, September 3, 2008
The Best Care that Money Can Buy
Today I was thinking about just how much work is involved in caring for a person with dementia and I wondered about people who were caring for loved ones on a limited budget. Like, what if I couldn't afford to put Mom in an assisted living facility, could I deal with the idea of putting her in a nursing home? I don't think I could, not at this point. But what about those families who have no choice because of financial constraints? They are burned out from caregiving. How much help is there really out there for lower income families or even middle class families? Not much in my eyes. Most of us are overwhelmed just by trying to navigate 'the system'. Throw in the financial burden and well, you can see why the stress level is so high. So I thought about what care is like in other countries. And I started to do some research just to find out what is available. I found this article which explains that dementia care in Europe isn't much better than it is here. But there are other ways to support the main caregiver too. For example, families can help. Unfortunately the burden of care is usually placed on one primary caregiver, usually a daughter, son or spouse. If members of a family cannot provide physical support there is always emotional or financial support which can be provided. If you're wealthy, then you can provide the best care that money can buy. But doesn't every dementia sufferer deserve that, not just the ones who can afford it? Long term care insurance can help fill the gap, but it can be expensive. So how do burned out caregivers handle it? How have you handled it if you are a caregiver?