Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) July 1, 2013 — More than 10,000 American baby boomers are turning 65 every day. By the year 2030, 1 in 5 people in the U.S. will be 65 or older.
The increase in the elderly population in the U.S. means that more people will be caring for seniors in professional settings, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. That also means than many adult children must make difficult decisions for their aging parents, or may be pressed into the role of caregiver.
“While having to assess and meet the care needs of elderly parents can be daunting, there are resources adult children can and should consider using to make it easier for everyone,” stated Dallas elder law attorney John Hale.
While caregiving can be emotionally satisfying, providing care and support can also leave the caregiver feeling physically and emotionally drained. A widely-suggested tool by social workers and professional care providers to help a caregiver determine if they need a break or additional support is a questionnaire called The Caregiver Burden Scale.
A caregiver looks at each statement and responds with a number from 0 (never) to 4 (nearly always) to determine the overall level of stress they are experiencing. The questions include statements such as: “My (loved one) needs help all the time;” “I don’t have enough time for myself;” and “Caregiving has affected my health.” Go to Understanding-dementia.com for the complete questionnaire.
For adult children unsure how to approach the complexities of caring for an elderly loved one, geriatric care managers can help. Independent geriatric care managers will, for a fee, assess the needs of a family’s elder loved one and suggest resources to help. A geriatric care manager typically charges between $200 and $400 to perform an assessment which generally examines the elder’s medical needs, diet, mental status and activities of living safety issues. Some geriatric care managers may run a shorter, more informal assessment for a lower fee.
For financial and legal issues, such as long-term care planning, advance care directives and other issues, family members should work directly with an experienced elder law attorney or estate planning attorney.
John Hale is a Dallas elder law attorney and Dallas estate planning lawyer with The Hale Law Firm. To learn more visit http://www.thehalelawfirm.com.
The Hale Law Firm
100 Executive Court, Suite 3
Waxahachie, TX 75165
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