Being a caregiver can take a toll on your emotional, physical, and mental being. This is made worse by the fact that society often overlooks caregivers and focuses their attention more on the patient. As much as caring for someone can be richly rewarding, this service also comes with its challenges, especially regarding your health and well-being. So, based on this, it is advisable for caregivers to make use of available resources to make their work much easier and bearable. Speaking of resources, the government has come up with various resource facilities geared towards helping both the caregivers and those under their care to cope with the situation at hand. The following are some of the notable government resources that caregivers can benefit from.
When we talk of Medicare, most people would immediately think of hospital insurance (part A) and medical insurance (part B).
The difference between parts B and A are:
- Medicare Part A is hospital insurance, which covers inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing care, hospice care, and home health-care services.
- Medicare Part B is medical insurance. It generally covers services and items such as doctor office visits, preventive services, such as certain tests and screenings, flu shots, etc.
However, there is more to Medicare than just these parts. If the person under your care is over 65 years and collecting their Social Security retirement benefits, then there is a high possibility that they receive Medicare part A. In addition, they could possibly receive part B and the premiums are deducted automatically from their monthly benefits by the Social Security Administration. Besides these, they may also take advantage of part D which covers prescription drugs where the drugs are subsidized through private insurance companies. These options can help you greatly save on costs.
Supplemental Security Income
In cases where you are caring for someone whose Social Security benefits came about through lower-paying jobs, and these benefits happen to be their sole source of income, then they can easily qualify for higher monthly benefits. This is made possible through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Operated by the federal government, SSI works to offer help to the aged, the blind, and other disabled persons through monthly payments that help supplement their income. The resource is very helpful for those who need financial assistance for senior care.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs comes in to help if your loved one is a military veteran or a surviving spouse of a veteran. Here, your loved one will get access to various benefits that include pensions, healthcare services, disability compensation, long term care, burial benefits, and other such related benefits. The application and approval process may be tedious, but in the end, it will be worth the hassle.
ARCH | Respite Network
As earlier noted, caregivers go through so much in their bid to care for their loved ones. This means they sacrifice their own time that would have otherwise been used to do other exciting or productive activities. Based on this, the ARCH Respite Network comes in to help offer the much-needed break for the caregivers. This is the chance for you as a caregiver to get a break and recharge before you get back to your caring for your loved one. ARCH Respite Network works to ensure that caregivers do not get too overwhelmed by activities around caring for their loved ones but instead get some personal time to enjoy life as well. In this case, a volunteer comes in to take over caregiving role from time to time, or better still take your loved one on a trip or other fun activities, leaving you with enough time to engage in your other personal responsibilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act National Network
If you are caring for a disabled person, then you would see the need to partner with this national network for the disabled. The Americans with Disabilities Act National Network works to prohibit stigma and discrimination of the disabled in all aspects of public life in regard to employment, transportation, federal government programs, telecommunications, public accommodation, and commercial facilities.
The Administration on Aging (AoA)
The AoA administers many national programs and services for elders, including free health insurance counseling, legal assistance, elder abuse prevention, and help with long-term care planning.
The AoA also oversees a network of community-based organizations called Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) that offer in-person assistance with accessing these programs and services. These organizations are staffed by professionals who are knowledgeable about resources for seniors and their caregivers. They can help you prepare the necessary applications and gather supporting documentation for benefits.
Your U.S. Representatives
There are a lot of specialists who work with congressmen and congresswomen in the House of Representatives. They can provide advocacy and information services. To find their contact information you should visit the U.S. House of Representatives website to find staff specialists on elder affairs, programs, and services.