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Tune in Sunday Sept. 24 to Hear Homewatch CareGivers on the Radio

“Who will care for mom and dad?”

 Tune in Sunday, September 24 at 6 a.m. on WOOD Radio 1300/106.9 FM to hear my pre-recorded interview with WOOD Radio newsman Chuck LaTour, on his “West Michigan Weekend” radio program. You can also listen at 7 a.m. on B93.7 and other area iHeartRadio stations.

If you miss the program, we will also post the iHeartRadio podcast link on our Homewatch CareGivers Grand Rapids Facebook and Twitter, when it is published next week.

I was thrilled to share our philosophy and perspective after 15 years of working with over 1100 families.

During the interview we talked about the importance of adult children sitting down with their parents to plan for future long-term care needs so that decisions do not have to be made in haste in a crisis. Our seasoned Homewatch CareGivers team can meet with you and facilitate those discussions.

Our home care services provide a personal and respectful “personal assistant” for such activities as dressing, preparing meals, cleaning, and transportation as well as conversation & companionship, to name just a few.

Most importantly, we talked about how a Homewatch CareGiver can provide adult children with relief from the often stressful duties of being responsible for their parent's well-being. A popular form of this assistance is attentive overnight care, which can allow family caregivers to sleep, with peace-of-mind.

 An AARP study said more than 90 percent of people would prefer to “age in place” at home. Home care is a proven and always more comfortable alternative to more costly nursing institutions, the average cost of which is just short of $100,000 a year in West Michigan.

I am concerned about the stress and worry people experience from being a family caregiver. 

According to a 2016 study by the Home Care Association of America, 70 percent of family caregivers report symptoms of depression; 50 percent are more likely to suffer physical pain than those people without caregiving responsibilities. 

The number of adult children caring for their parents has tripled in the past two decades, based on a University of Michigan study.  About one in five families are involved in care for  their loved ones at home; of that group, more than half are struggling to manage providing care and a full-time job.

In fact, nearly two thirds of family caregivers have been forced to ask for reduced hours at work, or use up their paid-time off. Many over-burdened family members actually quit their jobs to care for their parents, according to that same U of M study. That obviously has serious career, financial, and family implications.

 Few people know that you can go straight home after a hospital stay and avoid the disruption of moving into another facility if you arrange for in-home care and therapy in advance.

I invite you to listen this weekend on the radio, and watch for the iHeartRadio podcast link we will send to you next week.

Thanks very much to Chuck LaTour and iHeartRadio for giving us the opportunity to talk about the impact of home care on the lives of our loved ones.

Jeff Swain, of East Grand Rapids, President of Homewatch CareGivers, is a member of the Caregiver Resource Network, the Council on Aging of Kent County, the West Michigan Healthcare Network and the board of directors of Senior Neighbors. 

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