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Caregiving Chronicles

News and analysis on caregiving topics in MetroWest and beyond.

Caregiving Chronicles

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Caregiving Chronicles will present news and analysis on caregiving topics in MetroWest and around the world, in-depth Q&As with experts in fields related to caregiving and updates and announcements about caregiving resources available in MetroWest from CaregivingMetroWest.org Program Director Douglas Flynn.


National Caregivers Month #CaregivingInCrisis - FAMILY CAREGIVER STORIES: The realities of older adults who are living alone.
By DebraMcDonagh / November 6, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

The month of November is National Caregivers month. It is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. The 2020 theme, #CaregivingInCrisis, highlights the new realities that family caregivers and their loved ones face during these uncertain times.

The national observance is spearheaded by Caregiver Action Network, a nonprofit that provides free education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers.

BayPath Elder Services Mission:

A vital part of the BayPath mission is to enable older adults to live with dignity and independence in the setting of their choice, and commonly, today's seniors would like to remain in their own homes.  

However, living alone does present extra challenges for both the older adult and those who care for them, especially during a global pandemic.

A BayPath Home Care Case Manager shared the following story:

"On the phone, I spoke with a caregiver today, who let me know how appreciative she is of the great volunteers in BayPath's Home Delivered Meals program. A husband/wife duo brought meals to a consumer in Hudson, and the consumer did not answer the door. The delivery team could hear consumer calling from inside the house. The consumer fell and could not get up. The HDM volunteers called 911 and waited for the EMT to get to the home and assist the consumer." 

Even a dedicated family caregiver cannot be with their loved one 24/7, so the instance above shows the importance of community support and programs offered by agencies like BayPath, which play a vital role in supporting the caregiver in this unprecedented pandemic we are facing. 

The facts on older adults living alone:

In the U.S., 27% of adults ages 60 and older live alone, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the 2010-2018 U.S. Census survey data. That is close to 13.8 million seniors aging alone. 

In an article authored by Claire Samuels, a content writer for 'A Place for Mom,' an assisted senior living residence, the point is made that senior isolation is both familiar and dangerous. While living alone doesn't inevitably lead to elder isolation, the two often go hand-in-hand.

Samuels also states, "Social distancing from the coronavirus has made senior isolation more prevalent, but it's also demonstrated how well we can communicate from afar. If you have aging relatives, call them, and encourage your family to do the same. If you run out of conversation topics, try asking these 20 questions seniors never get tired of hearing."

Caregiving MetroWest, a BayPath program, offers support for the Caregiver:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that "informal or unpaid caregivers (family members or friends) are the backbone of long-term care provided in people's homes." We agree and salute all family caregivers who are facing increased challenges due to the pandemic.

The responsibilities of being a family caregiver can take its toll even during normal circumstances. BayPath's Caregiving Specialist can help navigate today's uncertainty. The Family Caregiver Support Program is a support service for you, the family caregiver. 

You can reach a caregiving specialist by contacting BayPath's main number: 508-573-7200.



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BayPath Elder Services, Inc

Caregiving MetroWest is a no-cost program of BayPath Elder Services, Inc. and was made possible in part by grants from the MetroWest Health Foundation.

Avidia Bank

BayPath Elder Services, Inc.'s Family Caregiver Support Program and Caregiving MetroWest are grateful for the generous support of our community partner, Avidia Bank, which helps us continue to give area family caregivers the information, resources and support they need.