Dec 12th, 2018

Dear Sheila: Mental Illness – Can a Caregiver Help?

caregiver

When my brother was 16, he was diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He’s 29 now, lives with our parents and works full-time. His disorder keeps him from being entirely independent and my parents help manage his medications and his a.m. and p.m. routines. Our parents are retired and they want me to take on the responsibility of assisting him with medications and his daily routine. I just can’t. I have a job, a husband and two kids who need me. I know home care aides usually work with physically disabled people and the elderly, but could they also help my brother?  He basically needs medication supervision, help with groceries and housekeeping and I could use someone who would let me know if there’s a problem. Could this work?
~Big Sister

Dear Big Sister,
Yes, home care is a good option. An agency can meet with your brother, parents and you to learn about him and his needs. All of you can participate in developing a care plan which would include information about your brother and his needs, and set up parameters for documentation, reporting and communication. Your brother and parent’s input with agency personnel are a must to help find an experienced caregiver who is a good match and to set a schedule according to your brother’s needs. There are also supports you can investigate such as using technology for safety in the home, medication administration and reminders to do tasks. Technology added to home care will often help keep costs down. I am sure your parents will appreciate your help investigating resources and options for assisting your brother to remain safe and healthy at home, and for managing his care when and if they decide to travel or move. Check out the Home Care Association of America’s website for resources and to find a provider in your area.

Good luck,
~Sheila

photo credit: theglobalpanoramaAntibiotic Drugs via photopin(license)

Sheila McKannay Posted on Dec 12th, 2018 by
Sheila McKannay

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