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Respite Care and the Power of Attorney

POWER OF ATTORNEY - 01/03/14

1. The Responsibility of a Caregiver

Becoming a caregiver for an elderly relative or parent is a huge responsibility that requires an investment of time and patience. Caregivers often find themselves in a situation where they must provide constant attention and supervision over their loved ones on a daily basis, which can become quite a hardship on the caregiver. Fortunately, there is help in the form of respite care and adult day care programs that provide companionship to an elderly person for a short period of time and allows the caregiver some time to themselves away from the relative. Sometimes this can make all the difference between a highly stressful situation and one that is tolerable.

2. Providing Care for the Caregiver

Respite care provides an individual who usually comes into the home to offer monitoring and companionship for the elderly individual while the caregiver tends to their own needs. A caregiver who is also acting in a durable power of attorney capacity has the authority to make arrangements for respite care for their elderly relative or parent.

A power of attorney template or POA form can be used to nominate a power of attorney to represent an individual and their affairs in several different areas should they become incapacitated.

In-home respite care providers often are volunteers who provide this service to the caregiver for little to no charge, and there are many local government organizations and charity groups available with the training to administer minimal medical services such as ensuring that daily medications are taken at the proper times. Respite care can be provided on a regularly scheduled basis or only on the occasions where the caregiver needs it. It is an entirely flexible short-term benefit designed to give assistance to a caregiver and provide a caring individual to spend quality time with an elderly person.

3. Care Facilities are a Great Alternative

Another form of help available to caregivers comes in the form of adult day care centers. Adult day care is a program that provides supervision, companionship and social interaction to seniors in a fixed location that they are brought to every day. Frequently, adult day care is the only option for caregivers who must work during the day and have little other way of caring for their loved one.

A caregiver who holds a durable power of attorney has the authority to place their elderly relative into an adult day care center, however sometimes this can be problematic for those who feel as if they are abandoning their loved one. The important thing to remember is that adult day care providers are professional organizations that are excellent at providing a safe and hospitable environment for seniors.

4. In-depth Assistance is Available to the Caregiver

While there are many respite care providers and adult day care centers that provide their services free of charge to the individual, there are others that provide their services for a fee. These are usually more in-depth and provide a greater level of help for the caregiver. Many times there are state and federal programs that can help with the cost of these services and some insurance plans might even cover the entire cost. It is important for a caregiver to research their options in order to provide the best possible care for their elderly relative or parent while reducing the amount of stress in their own personal life.

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