How to Make Your Home Alzheimer’s and Dementia Friendly

Many people in Cincinnati provide full-time care, in their own homes, for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. For some, it’s a labor of love. For others, it’s a necessary cost-saving measure.

For people with Alzheimer’s dementia, aging at home can be a bit tricky. Alzheimer’s not only robs people of their memories — it robs them of their mobility and their ability to orient to their surroundings.

Many people with Alzheimer’s or other forms dementia will wander, especially in the later stages of the disease. That puts them at great risk of becoming lost or incurring serious, fall-related injuries.

Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to mitigate wandering and reduce your senior relative’s chances of falling or otherwise becoming injured.

If you live with, or are frequently visited by, a loved one with Alzheimer's or age-related dementia, here's how you can make your home a safer, more friendly and welcoming place for them.

Increase the ambient lighting

Don’t keep those shades drawn. Open them up and let the sunshine in. Some experts on aging recommend increasing your home’s lighting level to reduce the risk of falls.

How so?

Many seniors — those with dementia and otherwise — have reduced visual acuity, compared to younger adults. Brightening things up can help an older person see potential obstacles and, in general, get around better.

Increasing the lighting, at least during the day, can also keep your loved one with dementia safer by helping him or her to maintain a normal sleep pattern.

View More: How Cincinnati Can Become a More Age-Inclusive City

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease often exhibit restlessnessand have difficulty falling asleep. Fatigue, in turn, can lead to behavioral issues (“sundowning”), reduced immunity to communicable diseases, muscle soreness and decreased ability to focus, especially later in the day.

If you increase the ambient light level in your home, and time your lights to coincide with sunrise and sunset, you can help your loved one to maintain a normal Circadian rhythm (the light-regulated bio-mechanism that regulates sleep patterns).

Remove trip hazards

Alzheimer’s disease and advanced dementia rob people of their fine motor control. Consequently, one of the hallmarks of the disease is a shuffling gait. A loved one with mid- to late-stage Alzheimer’s will scuff his or her feet on the floor while walking, so it’s imperative that you remove any and all obstacles.

If you have area rugs or throw rugs, roll them up and store them for the duration of your loved one’s time in your home. If you have slick, hardwood floors, install handrails in the corridors or consider laying in wall-to-wall carpeting. And, if there are bubbles in your carpet, have them professionally stretched or tacked down.

Tape down wires, hide them behind furniture or better yet, take them up entirely. Don’t leave phone chargers or power adaptors plugged in when you’re not using them — unplug them, roll up the wire and put it away.

Create a calm, soothing environment

Sights, sounds and smells that might not distract you or me can be completely overwhelming for people with Alzheimer’s or late-stage dementia, because the disease robs them of the ability to filter out sensory stimuli.

Removing distractions can help your loved one to maintain focus and reduce his or her stress level. Pay attention to surroundings: Keep TV and stereo volumes at a minimum, don’t let your dog incessantly bark or jump up and ask the kids to keep it down or play outside.

Seniors with dementia can’t always express how they’re feeling, so you’ll need to closely observe behaviors and proactively keep the peace.

Need more tips for making your home Alzheimer’s friendly?

Download our free Dementia Guidebook. In it, you’ll find advice that will help you to provide excellent, person-centered care for your senior loved one, critical information about community-based resources and tips for making your home safer.

With your help, we can achieve Laura Lamb’s goal of making Cincinnati one of the most age-inclusive and dementia-friendly cities in the nation.

The Little Lies We Tell Aging Parents Who Are Suffering from Dementia

Many of us who deal with aging parents suffering from dementia have faced the difficulty of imparting to them bad news, or of trying to convince them to accept care that they need when they can no longer live independently. Sometimes, these conservations can become quite heated.

You’ve probably always been told to be truthful with everyone and especially with your parents. But now, some geriatric care experts are beginning to advise caregiving children to employ white lies in order to ease tensions and help parents with dementia to maintain dignity.

Why would anyone advocate lying to a parent?

Let’s first be clear: we’re not talking about big lies, and we’re not talking about employing them with a parent who has normal cognitive function and unimpaired decision-making abilities. We’re only talking about situations in which you are dealing with a parent who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, or other dementia-type disorder, that limits his or her ability to self-manage and make sound decisions.

Aging parents with dementia can often become frustrated, or even recalcitrant, when they perceive that they are losing control of the ability to make decisions for themselves. Their senses of dignity can become more easily offended; they might transfer their anger at their own decline onto the people around them.

But 90% of senior care managers surveyed by the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) in April, 2014, said that small lies, or what they call “fiblets,” are OK to tell dementia patients when they refuse care, or when a truth would otherwise be painful for the patient to learn.

So what is a “fiblet?”

According to NAPGCM President Emily Saltz, a fiblet is a small lie that, “is therapeutic because it calms and reassures, reduces anxiety and protects self-esteem.”

The experts who advocated using them in sensitive discussions were careful to caution that they should only be used to support or protect a patient and should never be used for personal gain.

Which “fiblets” are OK?

The majority of geriatric care experts who responded to the NAPGCM survey (83%) felt that telling a demented parent that an in-home caregiver was coming to the parent’s home to help a spouse, or to perform “some other concrete role,” such as helping to keep the house tidy, cook, or make small repairs, could help the parent feel less anxious and might head off a confrontation.

Another common, therapeutic fib that 68% of responding care managers endorsed is telling a demented parent who can no longer safely drive on his or her own that the car is in the shop for repairs. This can prevent the parent from attempting to drive unsafely, or prevent arguments over keys.

68% of care managers also agreed that keeping a dementia patient from knowing the true cost of in-home or assisted care is ok, if knowing that cost would prevent him or her from accepting care. This seems like a no-brainer; if a parent’s only objection to life-improving care is the cost involved, then one cannot allow that cost to be known. Money is the last thing that should keep a person from receiving the care he or she needs.

Over 6 out of 10 care managers also said that they felt it to be OK to avoid telling a dementia patient about family problems that he or she cannot help or control, such as a loved one’s unemployment, an impending divorce, a loved one’s death, a family member’s drug abuse or incarceration, or other peripheral worries. All this would accomplish would be to add to the patient’s overall stress and anxiety level. It’s counterproductive to their care.

If, for example, a significantly demented patient continually asks where her husband is, even though he died years before, most care managers feel it is OK to tell the patient that her husband stepped out for a moment and would be back later. This prevents the patient from having to continually re-learn and re-process her spouse’s death, and alleviates her immediate fear.

You need a supporting team.

Virtually all the care managers who responded to the NAPGCM’s survey agreed that families should approach delicate or sensitive interactions with a clear support group in place, including the involvement of a professional geriatric expert.

All family members need to approach the patient with a unified purpose and a consistent message, so that internal dissensions or conflicts aren’t perceived by the patient and add to his or her general anxiety level.

Again, white lies and fiblets aren’t appropriate for dealing with an aging parent with normal cognition. But when caring for a loved one with advancing dementia, they can be powerful tools for caregivers who want to ease the parent’s anxieties and allow him or her to get the assistance he or she needs.

3 New Developments in Alzheimer’s and Dementia Research

As you might imagine, as one of the Cincinnati area’s premier senior living and memory care providers, we make it a point to stay closely abreast of new developments in Alzheimer's dementia research.

Lately, there have been some startling new discoveries that may one day revolutionize the way we approach dementia and Alzheimer's treatment. From new definitions of Alzheimer's to advances in gene identification and the development genetic therapies, there's much to learn about.

Today, we'd like to share with you some of the information we've learned about three promising developments in cognitive research that may help people who develop dementia in the future.

1. Researchers recommended a new way to distinguish between Alzheimer's and other dementias.

A longstanding problem in the field of cognitive research has been the lack of a standardized definition of just what constitutes "Alzheimer's dementia."

Many other dementia-type disorders present with similar symptoms to Alzheimer's, so diagnoses has traditionally been made, to some degree, by clinical assumption: if all other dementia causes have been ruled out, the symptoms must be Alzheimer's.

But new research is beginning to resolve the fine, distinguishing line. A new clinical definition of Alzheimer's has been proposed by researchers with the Alzheimer's Association and the National Institute on Aging.

Alzheimer's, they advised, should be formally distinguished by the convergence of three characteristic symptoms: the presence of beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain, and evidence of neurodegeneration (declining brain tissue density, like that seen in this comparative image).   

Their proposal, which is in line with recent guidance from both the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and its European counterpart, which should open up routes for medication development and testing.

2. Researchers may have figured out a path to one day reverse Alzheimer's damage.

It's not conclusively known whether or not the presence of beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles cause neurodegeneration, or whether abnormal protein buildups and brain tissue death are both symptoms of the same disease process. But they are certainly associated with one another.

We do now know that a particular gene — APOE ɛ4 — is strongly associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. The gene causes the body to produce the APOE ɛ4 protein, which may be a precursor that promotes the formation of beta-amyloid plaques.

Having one copy of the gene is known to increase one's likelihood of developing Alzheimer's fourfold. Two copies of the gene increase the likelihood by as much as 12 times.

Recently, researchers working with human stem cells were able to develop a method of changing the structure of the APOE ɛ4 protein to potentially render it harmless. Their efforts appear to reversed the development of beta-amyloid plaques in lab-grown human tissue.

That's an incredibly important development. Why?

Although it's far too early to say that there's a potential cure on the horizon for Alzheimer's dementia, demonstrating the ability to develop genetic therapies that target the disease's associated (and possibly causal) risk factors represents a significant advance in the search for effective treatments.

3. Not all Alzheimer's cases are genetic in origin.

The debate about whether genetics, acquired factors like cardiovascular disease, or a bit of both ultimately cause all Alzheimer's cases has raged for decades. The aforementioned clarified definition of Alzheimer's dementia will certainly help science to settle that debate.

In the meantime, there is some evidence that improving heart fitness rates (or, at least, improved treatments for cardiovascular diseases) may be slowing Alzheimer's incidence rate.

At a recent symposium, the chair of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's epidemiology department, Dr. Albert Hofman, noted that several studies have indicated Alzheimer's occurrence has dipped approximately 20 percent since 1990 in the United States.

That's intriguing. To date, the conventional view has been that the Alzheimer's incidence rate will continue to rise as the Baby Boomers age.

Hofman stated that he believes the majority of Alzheimer's cases to be acquired (non-genetic). If that’s true, population health efforts to reduce obesity, head injuries and heart disease might yield large decreases in the number of people developing Alzheimer's dementia.

There are still many questions to answer about Alzheimer's dementia.

While science does its best to determine Alzheimer's causes and effective, new memory care treatments, we'll continue to provide quality residential memory care to local people living with dementia and their families.

If you still have questions about your older loved one's Alzheimer's or dementia diagnosis, we have answers for you, too.

4 Steps to Take when Mom or Dad is Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

An estimated one in three Americans will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. That translates to millions of Americans living with a dementia diagnosis, and many more millions of family caregivers providing support to them.

When your parent is diagnosed with dementia, it can be devastating for both of you. What should you do? What steps should you take to make sure that your parent has the care and support he or she needs?

Consider these four critical steps you and your family should take when an older loved one gets a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other dementia disorder.

1. The Right Diagnosis

Work with your loved one’s doctor to rule out treatable causes of cognitive loss. Some forms of dementia aren’t caused by neurological deterioration. They could be side effects of other physical ailments like heart disease, brain masses, or intracranial bleeds. A severe urinary tract infection can cause dementia-like symptoms. Review all medications with the primary care physician. Over-medication or drug interactions from prescription regimens that aren’t coordinated could trigger memory loss. In such cases, treatment of the underlying causes might alleviate dementia symptoms.

Your parent’s doctor will likely order blood work and scans to rule out primary causes. If the doctor suspects that adverse drug interactions have caused your parent’s dementia-like symptoms, they will revise the medication regimen. You may be asked to help monitor your parent’s medication compliance and to log symptoms to help the doctor reach a definitive diagnosis. Often dementia symptoms have no discernible cause and supportive care is the best option.

2. Ask Questions, Get Support

Your parent will need a lot of understanding and support. Eventually, he or she will need caregiving from a family member, in-home care providers or a residential memory care home.

Your parent will become increasingly reliant on you to make informed healthcare decisions. You should begin learning as much as you can about dementia caregiving so that you’ll be ready to make the right choices for your parent. 

You might consider joining a dementia caregiver support group. There are several here in Cincinnati, including the group that meets monthly here in Hyde Park. It may be helpful to network with other caregivers and be mutually supportive.

The Alzheimer’s Association — Greater Cincinnati Chapter and the Council on Aging can connect you with learning opportunities, support groups, and other resources. Discuss what you learn, especially online with your parent’s doctor.

3. Make financial, legal and medical arrangements

If your parent’s dementia hasn’t yet progressed to the point that he or she is debilitated, make sure you work with him or her to develop a care plan.

Now is the time for your parent to choose a residential retirement care provider, to designate his or her medical, legal and financial powers of attorney, and to complete a living will or advance care directive. If your parent has specific ideas for the dispensation of assets, those should be spelled out in legal documentation while he or she can still direct.

4. Plan for additional support or possible move

Dementia symptoms may progress slowly but rapidly worsen. It may not be safe for your parent to continue living alone. If you or one of your siblings is willing to provide daily care, it may be time to move your parent into a family caregiver’s home, or hire a live-in care partner.

Or, your parent might be interested in moving into a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), which can provide everything from assisted independent living and memory support therapy to advanced round-the-clock nursing care.

A CCRC can provide your parent a way to socialize with other seniors and live as independently as possible, for as long as possible. They can engage in enriching activities, and you and your family will have peace of mind. You will know that your parent is being closely looked after.

A dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis isn’t an end. It’s a beginning.

To be sure, it’s the beginning to a challenging chapter. But, by taking these four steps to set affairs in order and arrange for memory care, you and your parent can alleviate some of the worry and focus on enjoying the time you have together.

How to Cope With Feelings of Grief After a Parent's Dementia Diagnosis

It can be hard to come to terms with a parent's age-related memory loss. It can be even more challenging  to grieve an elder's Alzheimer's dementia diagnosis.

There's no getting around it: An Alzheimer's diagnosis is always a fatal one. There's no known cure. There's no way to stop the disease in its tracks.

Various memory care methods might be useful in slowing the progression of a loved one's Alzheimer's dementia, but results are hit-or-miss in many cases. There can be periods of prolonged stability, followed by periods of rapid decline.

It's heartbreaking to watch a loved one's decline, and the unpredictable nature of the disease can be emotionally and spiritually draining. So, where can family caregivers find support? How can you cope?

Today, we'll discuss several coping methods recommend for caregivers when they are grieving an Alzheimer's diagnosis in an elderly loved one. We'll call your attention, too, to some of the caregiving and memory support resources available to your family here in the Cincinnati area.

Be cognizant of your grief process.

Most people expect to go through the stages of grief when a loved one passes away, or when a romantic relationship comes to an end. Fewer understand that they are likely to go through a grieving process when a loved one falls ill.

It makes sense if you think about it: Alzheimer's dementia robs your loved one of the ability to communicate with you in the manner you're both accustomed to.

It can seem like your loved one is mentally gone before he or she is physically gone, so it's natural that you would grieve as if he or she were already gone.

But there are ways to communicate with your loved one, even in Alzheimer's most advanced stages. It takes a lot of trial and error, and it requires patience, but you can learn your older parent's "caregiving language" — akin to Dr. Gary Chapman's 5 Love Languages — and maintain your bond.

As you do, you should also learn about your own grief language: the methods by which you express your grief, and in which you understand others' expressions of grief.

Here are several coping methods you should try.

Memory care experts and therapists alike agree that the following are helpful in dealing with your grief.

  • Acknowledge and accept your feelings.
    When your loved one has dementia, it's normal for you to feel all sorts of negative emotions: sadness, anger, frustration, guilt, even emptiness or numbness.

    It's OK for you to feel those things. Allow yourself to. If you do and accept that they will crop up, it's easier to face and overcome them.

  • Expect setbacks.
    Sometimes, if you assume setbacks will happen, you'll be pleasantly surprised when better things happen, and you'll be able to enjoy the good times even more. And we don't just mean setbacks in your loved one's mental status. We mean disturbances in your emotional status, too.

    Again, allowing yourself leeway to feel negative emotions will help you to work through them, rather than letting everything build up to the point that you explode or shut down.

  • Recognize that your grief process will be unique to you.
    No two people experience grief in exactly the same way. Others might be able to understand that you feel grief, but remember, they don't know exactly what you feel. But that's something that, in and of itself, could help you.

    Because a licensed therapist can't feel the grief you feel, he or she can serve as an objective, non-judgmental sounding board for you. Consulting with one could help you see clearly even when intense emotions threaten to blind you.

  • Reach out to others.
    Try attending Episcopal Retirement Services' monthly caregiver support group. Attend another dementia caregiving support group here in Cincinnati.


    Join an online caregiver support forum. Talk with your family and friends. Don't be afraid to ask other people to let you lean on their shoulders for a while. Because, believe it or not, talking can help. Hugs can help. Shared tears can help.

    No, they won't cure your elder loved one's dementia. But they will remind you that you're not alone in this and help you to let a little bit of air out of your emotional balloon.

  • Remember to care for yourself, too.
    Many family caregivers devote their full attention to meeting their loved one's needs but neglect their own. That's noble and admirable in the short run; in the long run, it's detrimental to your mental health and to your loved one's continued wellbeing. Set aside time for spiritual self-care and rest.

    If you feel like you don't have enough time to do that, you should definitely look into community-based resources — for example, temporary respite care admissions for your loved one, adult memory care day programs, or in-home nursing — that could alleviate some of the care burden you're under.

[QUIZ]: How Much Do You Know About Alzheimer's & Dementia?

As we get ready for the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual fundraising and awareness event, The Longest Day, held every June 21, let’s take a minute to test your knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease, age-related dementia and memory care.

Take our quiz below, and then see how you did by checking the answers to the questions at the end of the article. Have fun and, if you learn something new, make sure you share it with your family and friends to help foster better community understanding of the critical need for more dementia research and more caregiving resources in the Tristate.

Let’s see how you do!

  1. What percentage of American seniors suffer from Alzheimer’s and other age-related dementias?

  1. 2.1%

  2. 6.7%

  3. 10.0%

  4. 18.2%

  1. In 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, what was the total estimated value of unreimbursed care provided to Americans with dementia by family caregivers?

  1. $217.7 billion

  2. $331.2 billion

  3. $547.1 billion

  4. $1.2 trillion 

  1. What did the estimated value of unreimbursed dementia care in 2014 equate to in terms of approximate percentage of total US gross domestic product (GDP) for the same year?

  1. 0.33%

  2. 1.25%

  3. 2.17%

  4. 5.73%

  1. What percentage of his or her annual income does the average family caregiver pay out-of-pocket, per year, to support a loved one with age-related dementia?

  1. About 5%

  2. About 20%

  3. About 28%

  4. About 39%

  1. What causes Alzheimer’s disease?

  1. A buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain.

  2. Lewy bodies.

  3. A high fat diet.

  4. The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not well understood.

  5. Genetics

  1. What’s the most effective modern method of memory care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients?

  1. Game-based learning, such as SAIDO Learning

  2. App-based learning, including Grey Matters

  3. Music therapy

  4. Art therapy

  5. Monitored “safe wandering”

  6. All of the above

 

ANSWERS:

  1. (c) 10%. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 10 Americans aged 65 or older has an Alzheimer’s dementia diagnosis.

  1. (a) According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the economic value of the care provided by unpaid caregivers to those with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias was $217.7 billion in 2014. The total value of unreimbursed care is projected to continue growing as the Baby Boom generation reaches peak retirement. 

  1. (b) About 1.3%. In 2014, total US GDP was $17.393 trillion.

  1. (b) Per AARP’s “Family Caregiving and Out-of-Pocket Costs: 2016 Report,” the average American family caregiver annually spends approximately $6,954 out-of-pocket to support a loved one with dementia, which is reportedly about 20% of the national median income.

  1. (d) Although amyloid plaque aggregations have certainly been observed in a large number of Alzheimer’s patients, it is not known if they’re causal for Alzheimer’s, or simply a co-symptom. Moreover, not all Alzheimer’s patients exhibit anomalous amyloid plaque build-ups.

Lewy body proteins are suspected to cause another form of age-related dementia that is, in many respects, similar to Alzheimer’s.

High fat diets have been investigated as possible vectors for the development of Alzheimer’s dementia but, to date, no definitive, causal relationship has been demonstrated.

Several genes, including APP, PS1 and PS2, have been demonstrably linked to the development of Early-Onset Familial Alzheimer’s Disease (eFAD), but they’re probably not responsible for more traditional Alzheimer’s disease presentations. Like breast cancer and heart disease, some Alzheimer’s cases are probably attributable to genetics, while others are not.

The only fact we really know is that we don’t really know, for every patient, if there’s a single “smoking gun” factor or set of factors that causes Alzheimer’s to develop.

  1. (f) All of these methods are considered state-of-the-art methods for memory care. Marjorie P. Lee and its Episcopal Retirement Services sister communities offer a full suite of residential memory care treatments, including all those listed here.

💵 How to Pay for Care for a Loved One with Alzheimer's or Dementia

If you have an elderly loved one with Alzheimer's or dementia, you’re first concerned with what to do to care for them. But the second, natural concern you’re going to have is, “How much will it cost?”

And that’s nothing to feel guilty about. The cost of senior care is a significant cause of concern for many American families, especially given recent studies that have indicated the price of private, residential senior care has risen 11 percent since 2011.

But there are ways to plan effectively for your loved one’s memory care. And if you know what to expect, you can develop a better care strategy. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Your loved one’s private insurance may have a lifetime limit and/or exclusions

If your parent or grandparent has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and has private health insurance and/or long-term care insurance, one of the first calls that should be made is to his or her agent or insurance provider.

It’s likely that his or her policy has a lifetime maximum on coverage. You need to know what that is, and when to expect that maximum will be reached.

In cases where the spouse is still living at home, outside the retirement community, additional assets may be exempt.

It’s also possible that there are specific coverage exclusions listed in the policy. You should review the coverage with your loved one’s agent so that there are no surprises when a charge is disallowed.

If you know what the limitations are on the coverage, you may be able to work with doctors and retirement care providers to avoid them altogether, without compromising the standard of care.

2. Early-onset dementia and Alzheimer’s patients may be able to withdraw from retirement accounts early

If your loved one is younger than 59½ and has been diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or certain other illnesses, he or she may be able to withdraw from an IRA or employee-sponsored retirement plan early, without incurring the usual 10 percent tax penalty. You should consult with a qualified CPA or financial professional who can guide you on the finer points.

Some pension plans also pay disability benefits to early-onset dementia or Alzheimer’s patients. If your parent is a member of a pension plan, you should check with the plan provider to find out what he or she might be eligible for.

Early-onset dementia may also qualify your loved one to receive Social Security disability income (SSI or SSDI) which, in turn, would provide Medicaid eligibility (after assets are spent down).

3. Speaking of spend downs . . .

Medicare and Medicaid require that your loved one spends down assets before full coverage kicks in. Some assets — the home (if a spouse or disabled adult child is still living there), furnishings and personal belongings, one personal vehicle, pre-paid burial assets and a life insurance policy (with a face value up to $1,500) — are protected and not currently subject to spenddown requirements. And spenddown requirements themselves may vary from state to state.

But investments like stocks, bonds and annuities, cash reserves, other properties and additional vehicles must be divested. And there are strict restrictions on “gifting” assets to other family members in order to avoid spending them down — restrictions that result in stiff sanctions when you’re caught.

In cases where the spouse is still living at home, outside the retirement community, additional assets may be exempt. For example, the spouse may retain his or her own retirement accounts or certificates of deposit, without needing to spend them down, plus 50 percent of other the couple’s countable assets.

Best course of action to prepare? Consult a lawyer or CPA who is well-versed in Medicare/Medicaid requirements as they pertain to asset spend downs.

4. Community resources may be available to help ease the financial hardship on your family

Check with your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association or on the federal government’s Eldercare Locator to find information and links to resources that might be available in your area. Some of those might include reduced-cost or free respite care programs, Meals on Wheels deliveries, in-home care and more.

If your parent is a veteran, additional resources or programs may be available through the Veteran’s Adminstration, including caregiver support.

You might also check with the Family Caregiver Alliance and the National Council on Aging, to find additional eligibilities for your loved one and your family.