There are varying degrees of caregiving. Some caregivers provide care in their own homes, some help loved ones with a range of activities (bathing, legal/financial matters, medical decisions, etc.), but no matter what the role, caregivers need support.
When a caregiver becomes physically, emotionally, and/or mentally exhausted, they have what has been called “caregiver burnout”. This may be accompanied by a change in attitude toward life, their loved ones, or those whom they are caring for.
Burnout can arise when a caregiver’s own needs are not being met, which can result from a person becoming overwhelmed by financial issues, physical over-exertion, or emotional exhaustion. One can even feel guilty for spending resources - including time and energy - on themselves instead of their loved ones.
Signs of caregiver stress
Signs include fatigue, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and relationship issues. When the caregiving burden is affecting health and well-being, caregivers should reach out to their resources for help. It’s a good time to examine one’s stress-coping methods and keep what works and give up strategies that don’t. One way to maintain a sense of control is by connecting with the loved one’s medical team to remain informed and involved.
Asking for help
Family members may be willing to help, but may be waiting to be asked or simply are not sure what they can do. Care, such as providing rides to the store and medical appointments, helping with activities of daily living, and other forms of caregiver relief, can be coordinated at a family meeting. A family phone tree is helpful for communication. Family members can also take turns calling to remind the loved one that it’s time to take medication, and can also offer emotional support so they aren’t entirely dependent on the primary caregiver for their emotional needs.
There are many local agencies that offer resources to assist and support caregivers, as well as national organizations who help inform caregivers on financial, medical, and other caregiving choices.
Take 10 minutes
It is helpful for a caregiver to commit a minimum of 10 minutes daily either to their own personal needs or to doing something they love. This can include addressing one’s own healthcare, walking outdoors, practicing creative visualization, reading, listening to music, or simply calling a friend.
One good way to ease caregiver burnout is with respite care, which is third-party care for a loved one that provides short-term relief. This care can be provided in the home, a skilled facility or adult day program and the time frame can be an afternoon, day, or week.
Typically, insurance payments do not cover respite care, which leaves the caregiver responsible for the cost. Those seeking longer-term care can contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at 216.696.2719 for guidance on appropriate care facilities and information on the quality of local organizations. There is no fee for their services.
In addition, the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging can be reached at 216.586.3441 Ext. 3131, and can connect caregivers to respite services. There is also no fee for their services.
Longer Term Respite Care Providers
216.791.3580 | Visit the Website
Provides care for enrolled participants at a facility like McGregor, St. Augustine, or Brookdale Richmond Assisted Living. Allows up to 14 days a year for respite care. Days do not have to be consecutive.
855.260.3274 | Visit the Website
A caregiver providing care for a Veteran who is in need of respite care can contact the VA Caregiver Support Program. This organization will help locate a respite care program or facility that is contracted for veterans.
Adult Day Programs
Programs vary from facility to facility, but typically provide meals, therapy, medication administration, transportation, and music and art therapy.
Jennings Adult Day Services
216.226.5000 | Visit the Website | 10603 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102
216.361.0917 | Visit the Website
Your Second Family
216.465.3694 | Visit the Website | 4901 Memphis Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44144
Private Pay Services
In addition to the non-profit and government agencies listed above, there are a number of businesses who offer respite care in the Cleveland area.
Medicare and Medicaid
Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage for those 65 years of age or older or with a severe disability, no matter the income level.
Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage for those with very low income.
Ohio Medicaid Eligibility Check
800.324.8680 | Visit the Website
This service provides a rough estimate for determining eligibility for oneself or family member.
Ohio State Health Insurance Assistance Program
800.686.1578 | Visit the Website
A program that offers one-on-one insurance counseling and assistance to people with Medicare, including their families.
Nursing Home Compare
Visit the Website
Detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country. A nursing home is for people who can’t be cared for at home and need 24-hour nursing care.
Kinship care is when an adult has a long-standing relationship or bond with a child or the child’s family and has taken over full-time (temporary or permanent) care because the parents are unable or unwilling to do so. This type of care often comes about in cases where the parent or parents are chronically ill, deceased, incarcerated, or when there is domestic violence, child abuse, or other concerns.
Resources for Kinship Caregivers
Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services Kinship Permanency Incentive Program
216.881.5554 | Visit the Website
This program provides time-limited incentive support payments for children who are being cared for by anyone other than birth parents. There are some eligibility requirements.
Fairhill Partners Kinship Care Program
216.421.1350 | Visit the Website
This program provides peer-to-peer support groups, monthly family days, summer camps, and weekly “Meet the Professionals” workshops.
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
One good way to ease caregiver burnout is with respite care, which is third-party care for a loved one that provides short-term relief. This care can be provided within the home, a skilled facility, or an adult day program, and the time frame can be an afternoon, day, or week.
Those seeking longer-term care can contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at 216.696.2719 for guidance on appropriate care facilities and information on the quality of local organizations. There is no fee for their services. In addition, the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging can be reached at 216.586.3441 Ext. 3131 and can connect caregivers to respite services. There is also no fee for their services.