“Are there any questions I need to ask that I may not have thought of? I’ve never done this kind of thing before, and feel kinda lost right now.”

This is a common concern that spouses and family members have when they are thrust into the role of “family caregiver” and need support while navigating their options.

We know this not only from serving 3 million family caregivers (and older adults) each month — we were in fact founded as a result of an adult son feeling these things in trying to care for his ailing mother long distance. He couldn’t find senior care information readily online to help him through each caregiving challenge he faced — and through Caring.com he aimed to fix that for other family caregivers in similar situations.

One such person that’s been helped by Caring.com is spousal caregiver, Phillippa L. in Colorado. When she realized her husband needed more care than she could provide (while also juggling a job outside the home), she reached out to Caring.com for help.

She talked to Jamie (a Caring.com family advisor) in depth about their situation, budget, and preferences: Phillippa’s husband liked to accompany her in the garden, and document daily in a journal to help him remember. He liked to walk and do puzzles, but struggles with hearing and isn’t good about wearing his hearing aid. He needed help with medication management, activities of daily living, and quality, dignified, professional care.

Family advisor Jamie actively listened to Phillippa, and then suggested some best-matched communities. From those, Phillippa chose the communities she wanted to tour, and Jamie helped set up those appointments. Closer to the tour dates, we reminded Phillippa about the locations and timing, and helped make the process of touring senior living communities as smooth as possible, providing information and guidance as needed.

After completing her tours, Phillippa ultimately chose a memory care community for her husband that had a lovely view and enclosed yard. There was also positive feedback in reviews about this community on Caring.com, and she felt she’d made the right choice with Caring’s help.

“I have been telling everyone how great Caring.com is,” she said. “Jamie was truly wonderful. She was always there for me, answered all my silly questions, and provided some much-needed encouragement and support.”

We love hearing feedback like this after helping families find senior living for loved ones. This is what we were founded for, and is truly an example of how we deliver on our social mission: equipping family caregivers to make better decisions, save time and money, and feel less alone — and less stressed — as they face the many challenges of caregiving.

And in this case, we took our family caregiver support even further by picking up the tab for one month’s rent at the memory care community Phillippa chose for her spouse. Phillippa had entered our monthly move-in drawing (held among those using our senior housing referral services), and she was randomly selected as the recipient in September 2017.

This is not the end of Phillippa’s spousal caregiver story, just the next chapter, and in Caring.com, she has a senior care support resource she can turn to as needed in caring for her husband.

Show your support: give a like for Phillippa and her husband on our Facebook page (or for Twitter users: perhaps a retweet from our feed). Thanks!

Denise Graab

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