by Anna Goubeaux, RN, COA Caregiver Support Nurse
Welcome to our new COA for Caregivers column!
At COA, we see the effects of these tremendous numbers up close and personal every day as we work with caregivers who are giving so generously of themselves to care for our clients. And, we know two things for sure: caregiving is challenging, and caregivers need support. That’s why, in addition to the services we offer that help supplement what our clients’ caregivers provide, we offer a Caregiver Support Program, with me as its dedicated Caregiver Support Nurse.
I’d like to share a little about my introduction to caregiving. When I was 19, my grandmother, who had dementia, moved into my parents’ home. I was in nursing school at the time, so it made sense for me to assist in the caregiving duties. I learned more in those eight years of caring for my grandmother than I could have ever imagined. Being a caregiver was a very humbling experience, but one I would never trade.
I recall that my family was often asked why we didn’t just place my grandmother in a nursing home. The reason was simple: we loved her and promised to care for her at home until her death. We weren’t aware in the beginning of the challenges we would face, but learned very quickly that being a caregiver is difficult!
This – and my passion for caring for the elderly and helping their loved ones – is what drives me to assist caregivers in their journey. I’ve been in their shoes before. I’m very familiar with how caregivers can feel alone, and not sure where to turn for help.
In upcoming newsletters, I plan to explore topics faced by caregivers, and to direct you to caregiving resources. Some of these topics will include:
resources/programs that suit your family’s needs
- Caring for yourself while being the caregiver
- Legal/financial planning
- Insurance benefits and types of insurance
- Getting organized
- Advocating for your loved one
- End of life preparation
It truly takes a village to care for our loved ones and I hope that the information I share in this column will help you expand your village!