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What's Available on BFC

Caregivers need a place to find answers such as Becoming a Family Caregiver.

What's Available under "Mission"

 I  enjoy helping others. When in a group, I feel most comfortable if I'm serving in some way. The jobs and projects to which I commit my time are service-oriented. Therefore, it's no surprise that God gave me the desire to have a mission devoted to helping caregivers find the resources and support they need in their roles. Find out more about the goals and objects for BFC and why this project is so important to me.

Statistics related to the number and types of caregivers in the United States in 2020 published by AARP

What's Available Under "Caregiver Data"

According to "National Data on Caregivers," 53.0 million adults in the United States provided care to an adult or child with special needs during the previous twelve months before the 2020 survey. The report a lot about who caregivers are and what they do. It confirms that most caregivers are family members who take over the responsibility of caring for their immediate or extended family members. The more we learn about who we are and what we need, the more influence we have when asking Congress to make changes to the law supporting caregivers. Find out more about caregiving from the statistical viewpoint, and environment and events influence a caregiver’s adjustment to the role.

After retiring from her full-time job, Donna wanted to help others like herself who had family members needing care at home. From that desire, the idea of a caregiver mission grew.

What's Available Under "Blog Library"

I've created a Blog Library listing everything I've written either for MSCaregiving Sharing or MultipleSclerosis.Net.  Topics include insights into emotional and challenges for caregivers and care recipients, difficulties in balancing caregiving and other life expectations, the impact on employment and families, and much more.

Information and training is one of the ways I support other caregivers.

What's Available Under "Planning Care"

Gathering information and acquiring training is essential to new caregivers. “Planning Care” presents an overview of the many ways caregivers initially adjust to their new role. In the early days of becoming a caregiver, questions often surface related to applying for disability, getting financial assistance, dealing with insurance costs, coping with emotions, and handling unforeseen emergencies. Life is chaotic. Learn how to get organized and gain practical tips for managing the massive workload from someone like you.

The Emergency Department relies on information and training to support development of healthcare professionals.

What's Available at "Understanding Healthcare"

When you take on the role of caregiver, you become responsible for your family member's daily care duties, but you also become their advocate. Understanding healthcare is essential to work within the medical environment in getting anything done.  Healthcare systems are complex.  A strict reporting line of leadership exists, and roles are well defined. Staff only do what is in their job descriptions, so it's pointless to ask them to do something else.  Caregivers need information and training on who to ask for what they need to save time searching for answers and assistance.

Providing Information and training on how to check blood sugar at home so that the caregiver can monitor a diabetic's insulin needs and adjust their dietary intake and activity level accordingly is important to maintaining the health of family members.

What's Available Under "Skills"

"Skills" offers detailed processes and procedures caregivers use in providing care. Being alone when first performing a new procedure is scary. Many caregivers have limited background in problem-solving what to do if medical equipment stops working or supplies run out. Furthermore, anxiety may cause the caregiver to forget many of the pointers provided by the healthcare member during their training session. Detailed step-by-step directions presented as guidelines or in video format help caregivers develop confidence as they become comfortable performing procedures.

What's Available Under "Resources"

Medical supplies for someone who isn't part of the healthcare world are difficult to find and very expensive. Insurance controls what can be bought from whom if they pay the cost, but insurance covers little of the cost of what a caregiver needs at home. So where do they buy everything else? Find out local and online resources for all sorts of resources caregivers need in providing care in the "Resources" section, plus links to organizations specializing in medical conditions that can help you navigate your special needs! In addition, find the links to all those government agencies you need to contact all in one place! Here they are at your fingertips.

What's Available Under "Immobility"

The immobility challenges are vast and diverse, ranging from learning to use a cane safely to adapting to life as a person with quadriplegia. Topics covered include adapting your home, skincare, transfer techniques, equipment, devices, risk factors associated with immobility, and much more. Adapting to immobility takes time and commitment. Look over the "Immobility" content to get an idea of what may be useful in helping your family member gain greater accessibility to their home environment.

"Finances" are significantly impacted by caregiving. Social Security provides both retirement benefits and disability income.

What's Available Under "Finances"

Caregivers often become responsible not only for medical care but also for the financial well-being of their family members. The need to become a power-of-attorney, apply for Medicare or Medicaid, or make other financial decisions becomes essential and overwhelming. Learn what these terms mean, what you need to know about them, and how they may impact your life under "Finances."

Absence of Breathing is checked by tilting by the head to open the airway.

What's Available Under "Emergency Preparedness"

 Many caregivers are unaware that Virginia Emergency Management (VEM) has an entire web page devoted to helping individuals with disabilities and their caregivers prepare for emergencies. It's incredible how many resources are available if you only know about them. Learn how to be prepared for natural emergencies and how to deal with medical emergencies in your home under the "Emergency Preparedness" section. In addition, if you have never taken a CPR class before, check out the online CPR training by ProTrainings. Use code -CPR Steigleder for a 10% course discount.

An increase in agitation is sometimes seen with sundowning.

What's Available Under "Emotions"

Knowing how to handle emotional outbursts and personality changes is confusing and frightening for caregivers. Although every person, home environment, and situation are unique, the information presented in “Emotions” provides useful suggestions and guidelines that work in similar situations. Realistically, most caregivers try multiple strategies before finding what works best when dealing with their family members. Therefore, don't give up if you try a technique that doesn’t work for you the first time.

You don't have to take this journey alone.