A Caregiver’s Toolkit: You Have Questions. JABA Has Answers

We know you want to be able to take care of the older or disabled adult you love. But, sometimes, you need assistance along the way. JABA has information that can help you understand where your loved one is on their journey and connect you to services that make your family’s life easier. Let’s take a few steps together to get you started.. (Printable PDF version of this toolkit here.)

Step 1: What Services Are Available?Let’s explain some options for your loved ones as they get older

Options Counseling: JABA’s counselors help you and your loved one decide next steps and identify available supports and services.

Personal Home Care: Comes to your loved one’s home to provide support with tasks such as cooking, cleaning, shopping or running errands (various local agencies).

Home Health Care: Trained aide comes to your loved one’s home for hands-on help with feeding, bathing, meal preparation, medication, etc. (various local agencies). Often prescribed by a doctor.

Community Senior Centers: JABA’s seven centers in central Virginia are for independent seniors (including those with walkers, etc.) who can benefit during the day from socializing and activities with others their age.

Adult Care Centers: JABA’s centers (Charlottesville and Louisa) offer day care during the week for adults with early dementia or disabilities, and provide a supportive environment with activities so that caregivers can have a break or continue to work.

Assisted Living Facility: Long term care option for older adults who may need help with personal care and medication management and can benefit from socialization and activities. Assisted living facilities may also offer memory care for individuals with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

Nursing Homes: Similar to ALFs, but residents live with more complex health conditions and require 24/7 medical supervision.

Step 2: How Is My Loved One Doing? Over the last month or so, I noticed. . . .

Changes in My Loved One:

  • Forgot where they were or wandering

  • Falls

  • Medication errors

  • Incontinence/hygiene issues

  • Missed meals/cooking issues

  • Personality changes/anger

  • Driving issues

Step 3: How Am I Doing? More and more, caregiving is having an effect on me. . . .

Changes in Me:

  • Feel like I have to do it all myself and should be doing more?

  • Feel guilty for not being able to meet all of my obligations?

  • Worry about the safety of the loved one I am caring for?

  • Feel like I have given up things I enjoy?

  • Put off taking care of myself, including my own health?

  • Am concerned about making a critical mistake in care decisions?

  • Worry that I am not able to provide the care my loved one needs?

Don’t give up, you’re assessing the situation. Let’s continue...

Step 4: What Services Does My Family Need?

Caregiving is challenging and JABA is here to support you. Follow the decision tree below to help you think about your loved one’s health, safety, capabilities and engagement. Then see which services may best meet their needs.

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Step 5: Can I Make This Happen?

Some major hurdles can stand in the way of getting care for your loved one.

Mom (or Dad) Won’t Go: Change is difficult for everyone. Often an elder is in denial and things may get worse before they will listen to you. A few suggestions:

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Can My Family Afford This? Care can be expensive. Take a deep breath and let’s look at average prices in central Virginia (care option descriptions on first page). Keep in mind that your loved one may be entitled to benefits/scholarships that reduce costs.

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Step 6: This is the time to call JABA. Call JABA and set up a time to meet with our qualified staff at no charge. We offer many services and can also connect you to community supports.

The journey you and your loved one are on is long and complex. JABA knows you want to do the best thing. Even if you have spoken with us before, situations change. We’re ready to help. Start by giving us a call at 434.817.5222 or email us at info@jabacares.org.. (Printable PDF version of this toolkit here.)

© 2019 JABA, Inc. All rights reserved. Last updated on 4/29/2019.