Tips on How to Navigate the Carers Maze – Grace Gawler interviews Ellen Slater- Carers Qld.
Having been a sole care-giver at the age of 21 when my then boyfriend and later husband was suddenly diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) I had an abrupt introduction into the world of the caregiver. When he underwent surgery for a full leg amputation – life became even more challenging. Carers are the backbone of most societies. Their task is often unnoticed and even unappreciated. Ellen Slater aims to change that – in fcat she has made it her life mission to provide care and teach self – care to caregivers.
Ellen Slater has had a life-time of personal care-giving & then chose a vocation in care-giving as well as a career as a family therapist and counselor.
For 6 years Ellen has been Manager for Counseling, Family Support and Advocacy programs with Carers Queensland. Carers Australia is the peak body for carers. Carers Queensland is responsible for a National Carers Counseling Program (NCCP) which, Ellen has been privileged to manage. In Queensland the organization has 13 professional counseling staff, where they offer face to face counseling, telephone counseling & home visits. This is a state wide program. Ellen has recently resigned from her position at Carers Qld to follow her heart and passion into her next venture and adventure; Joyland Carers Retreat near Korora beach, Coffs Harbour in Northern NSW. www.joylandcarersretreat.com.au More about Ellen Slater on the Guest page.
CONTACT CARER’S QLD: www.carersqld.asn.au
Listen to the audio interview – download on itunes for free and live streaming anytime.
Ellen Slater Ellen has been a carer for most of her childhood, adolescence and adulthood. She has a Masters of Counseling & has completed clinical courses in Family Therapy and supervision, a Diploma of Ministry, a Bachelor of Counseling, & has now been accepted as a candidate for a PhD. She is a recipient of the “Golden Key”, University of New England-Armidale. Whilst studying and also caring for her late husband, she ran a successful private practice & support groups from home.
She became Senior Counselor & Manager for Counseling & Advocacy-Carers Qld.
As a carer she was exhausted, isolated, angry; then later guilty & emotionally burnt out.
She dreamed of having a break & being alone for a while to find her-self. She was aware of others in similar situations; carers who needed respite & nurturing to regain their strength and courage to carry on.
Joyland Carer’s Retreat will open in Jan 2015; a self funded initiative that is now almost a reality www.joylandcarersretreat.com.au
CLICK HERE – TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW WITH ELLEN SLATER
Attention caregivers: Making use of helpful services – USA RESOURCES CONTINUED.
Being a caregiver for an ailing parent, spouse, child, or other loved one can feel like a lonely undertaking. But it doesn’t have to be, even if you don’t have family nearby to pitch in. Help for caregivers is available from various organizations. Once you learn what’s available, it may be easier to chart a less-demanding course toward meeting the needs of your spouse, relative, or friend.
Get your copy of Caregiver’s Handbook
Close to 49 million informal or family caregivers offer assistance of all sorts to adults in America. Their efforts are vital to the lives of people struggling with illness, disability, or the changes that often accompany aging. This report will assist you in meeting the needs of the person you care for while attending to your own. It includes financial, legal, and medical information that’s vital to caregivers, as well as a special section devoted to caring for yourself as you navigate caregiving challenges.
Here are some types of services and professionals you might want to investigate.
• Adult day services. These programs offer comprehensive packages of assistance, though what’s in the package varies from place to place. Services may include transportation, nursing care, meals, personal care (such as help with bathing or toilet use), social opportunities, or rehabilitative activities. Such facilities are immensely helpful if your loved one needs supervision or assistance with daily activities, health care, or social support for physical or cognitive impairments. Typically, adult day services are open during normal business hours. Some offer evening and weekend hours.
• Certified nurse’s aides. These trained aides can help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and personal care. Keep in mind that they are not nurses, and so can’t administer medications.
• Hired companions and homemakers. You may want to hire someone to help with meals, shopping, and laundry; supervise activity; and provide companionship and transportation. Some people may also be willing to help with personal care. An informal arrangement—such as a college student who lives in a home and provides help in exchange for rent—can work well.
• Home health aides. These aides perform personal services such as bathing and dressing, and may do light housekeeping.
• Meal programs. Hot, nutritious meals may be available through programs like the Meals on Wheels Association of America (703-548-5558, or www.mowaa.org) or the federally funded Eating Together Program, which offers lunch and companionship at community centers. Senior centers, community groups, or religious organizations may have similar services.
• Case managers. Some hospitals and health insurance plans assign case managers to oversee and coordinate health care. Case managers are often registered nurses or social workers. They help coordinate services, keep tabs on a patient’s progress, and communicate with the patient, caregiver, family, clinicians, and key departments, such as billing.
• Nurses. Nurses offer skilled nursing care, such as inserting intravenous lines, cleaning wounds, and changing bandages. They can also administer medications.
• Physical, occupational, or speech therapists. These trained professionals may do in-home therapy sessions.
• Respite care workers. Respite care workers provide caregivers with time off from their caregiving duties.
• Transportation services. Some communities offer free or low-cost transportation to medical appointments for seniors or people who are disabled. Other potential sources of free or low-cost transportation help are religious and community organizations, such as churches or synagogues, councils on aging, and senior centers.
The United Way (www.unitedway.org) and other national organizations may be able to refer you to services in your community, useful information, and assistance. For example, the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) offers a 24-hour help line (800-272-3900) and support groups throughout the country. Some of its chapters also offer training programs, assistance with coordinating care, and other services.
Another good resource is a website sponsored by the National Health Information Center: www.healthfinder.gov. It can help you locate resources in your area. A local agency on aging, geriatric care manager, hospital case manager, or social worker can also advise you about local services and may be able to suggest ways to cover the costs.
For more on developing plans and effective strategies for the hard work of caregiving, buy Caregiver’s Handbook, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.