Attention people who care: We’re here to helpFebruary 19, 2018
Knowing where to start, what questions to ask and who can help can be tough in any situation. And trying to help someone navigate health care is no exception. We know because we talk to people every day who are trying to do just that. And we have a lot of helpful information to share.
Are you talking to me?
But first, a note about who will find this information helpful. These people—the friends and family members that help their loved ones navigate life and health care—can be tough to address because they don’t neatly (or willingly) fall into a named category.
The term caregiver often feels like it should be reserved for when the care recipient is in their final days. Helping someone just feels like an extension of an existing role. I help Mom organize finances and make sense of doctors’ bills because I’m her daughter.
In honor of National Caregiver’s Day, we came up with this list of helpful resources for the many dedicated caregivers who so generously give of their time to assist a loved one with myriad tasks.
Helpful resources for specific stages
Just helping out with a few specifics.
Your loved one is still quite independent but maybe just needs another set of ears to get the details. Or help understanding forms, letters and the like.
- If you need to call Blue Cross on your loved one’s behalf, here is a helpful form (Authorization of Release Form) to have on file first.
- The Blue Cross Caregiver Helpline, 1-866-812-1594, can help answer questions regarding plan coverage and connect you to other resources.
- You can also call the Blue Cross nurse line for reliable health information at 1-800-622-9524.
My loved one just can’t get around like they used to and I’m a little worried they might fall or get hurt.
This article from National Caregivers Library is helpful home safety guide no matter your age or health status. This is also a good time to create an emergency plan. Use Family Caregiver Alliance’s Emergency Preparedness Checklist.
My loved one needs help more often and we find ourselves scrambling every once and while to get things figured out.
This can be a tough transition. This quick evaluation worksheet can help you see the whole picture. Communication is the key to navigating these changes.
- Minnesota residents can call Senior Linkage Line 1-800-333-2433 to help identify other community services that are available.
- Visit CaregiverCornerMN.com for more helpful links, guides and forms.
I’m so glad to be able to care for my loved one, but it’s exhausting.
Caregiving is a team sport. Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, colleagues, clubs or religious and other organizational affiliations as resources too. Consider a support group (real or online) to connect with others in the same position.
I don’t live close to my loved one so helping from a distance is really difficult sometimes.
Blue Cross has compiled our best tips for long-distance caregiving here. A good first step is to collect addresses and phone numbers of friends, neighbors, doctors, faith leaders and others in regular contact with your loved one who can be reached in the event of an emergency. Download a worksheet from AGIS here.