NJ Elder Care

NJ Elder care is a very imprecise term when you’re living in New Jersey and trying to specifically find what you need.  The term ‘elder care’ can encompass a wide variety of useful services and products, and the more you know about what is available, the sooner you’ll be able to find the care you need.

A brief narrative description of the journal article, document, or resource. As the elderly population in NJ continues growing, the result is that more elderly persons are requiring assistance with their activities of daily living (ADL).   No longer can a person easily bathe himself or herself, or dress themselves.  Also, you may be finding that an aging senior no longer can even decide what medications to take, or even the right dosage on the right day.  These are all known as ADLs, and are the things that an aging population often requires with the assistance of a caregiver.  That’s why finding the right NJ elder care becomes more important.

The projected number of caregivers in the US: 65.7 million (31% of all households).  Women are the traditional caregivers to the elderly, comprising 66% of caregivers.  86% of caregivers are caring for a relative, and 36% are caring for a parent.  Again, those providing elder care are primarily women.

To make the process easier, you should consider making a list of the tasks you can do and those you can’t do or don’t want to do.  If you’re assisting an aging elder relative who’s experiencing health care problems, ask the doctor to explain the levels of care your elder will require now and in the future.  If your parent, spouse or other relatives are caring for another elder family member, acknowledge the load they are carrying and offer to help whenever you can.  Following are some of the caregiving tasks you may have to “out-source”:

  • Homemaker services – household maintenance, repairs, housekeeping, cleaning, laundry, errands, grocery shopping, cooking, transportation, paying bills, interacting with eldercare advisors.
  • Personal care – bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, shaving, grooming, bed and chair transferring
  • Home health care – skilled nursing care, hospice aid, medications management, patient instruction, physical therapy, nutrition counseling.
  • Quality of life – companionship, escort, checking in, social activities, exercise, counseling, civic involvement, reading, religious activities, senior advocacy.

The elder care help received can also be from an informal network of support – family members, friends and volunteers, may all be more readily available, reliable, and affordable than paid care providers.  Create a list of people who can help you and your elder.  Write down their names, addresses, home and work telephone numbers, and email addresses, and be honest with them about the potential for being called anytime of the day or night.  Distribute copies of this list to your elder and family members.  If you are not available, make sure they know they can call upon others for assistance.  Keep copies of this list in several convenient locations, i.e., near the telephone, on the refrigerator, at work, and in the glove compartment of your car.

Providing elder care for aging parents in NJ is not always a family affair, though.  Denial, sibling rivalry, limited finances, living far away, and many other circumstances tend to place the bulk of the physical, financial and emotional responsibilities on one or two family members, while an only child has no choice but to do it alone with the help of people outside the family.

It’s true that the responsibilities of elder care within the family may be unevenly and perhaps unfairly distributed, especially to the eldest female child or relative.  To address this, get in the habit of speaking to other family members about your elder on a regular basis.  Compare notes and try to listen with an open mind.  If any family member seems reluctant to help with hands-on tasks, asks that person to contribute financially as a way of assisting, then you can decide how to make the best use of the money.

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