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|Caregiving: Facts to Know|
Most of those who need a caregiver are older; 80 percent are over 50. Twenty percent are either between ages 18 and 64 or are disabled children.If your loved one suffers from dementia, try to plan most of the activities earlier in the day. As the day wears on, dementia patients often become fatigued and may become more difficult, confused and angry. This phenomenon is called the "sundown syndrome."
The chronic stress of caregiving can affect the caregiver's health.
Falls are a common cause of injury among older people. Some falls can be prevented by monitoring medication and continuing to help your loved one work on muscle strength and balance.
Elder-law attorneys handle legal issues affecting the elderly, including powers of attorney, estate planning, Medicare and Medicaid issues, insurance disputes, fraud cases and similar issues.
Powers of attorney must be executed while the individual is still competent.
Give the care recipient as much autonomy as possible. Adult daycare, respite programs and short-term institutionalization offer a break from caregiving duties.
Medicare and Medicaid cover some services for long-term care, both in the home and in a residential facility. The guidelines are strict, however, so it's important to talk to the provider about payment options early in the process.
"Key Findings from `Caregiving in the U.S. National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP' Survey." April 2004. National Alliance for Caregiving. http://www.caregiving.org. Accessed February 8, 2005 ~
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