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JF&CS helps care for our aging loved ones and ourselves

Aging is one of life’s most significant changes, but not one that happens overnight. As we age, our bodies and minds change — usually gradually, sometimes suddenly.

The effects of getting older don’t just impact us; they tend to have great influence on our loved ones as well. Caring for an aging loved one offers the chance to spend precious time together, the opportunity to deepen our relationship. But caregiving isn’t easy, and it can cause exhaustion, frustration, guilt and worry. Furthermore it can be difficult for parents to switch roles and now be the ones needing care. In some situations, it puts a strain on the parent-child relationship.

This is why JF&CS helps older adults, their families and caregivers meet the challenges of aging. Our compassionate, experienced geriatric social workers provide a number of services that help everyone involved in the aging process. 

JF&CS can refer trusted, in-home caregivers, or we can help you solve complex problems that you may be unable to solve on your own. Our staff becomes a confidant for older adults, who likely don’t want to “burden” their children. This allows parents and children to focus on their relationship, while we manage the care and address any difficult, interpersonal issues or crises that emerge.

To learn more, please visit our website or call JF&CS’s Maxine Horn, information & referral specialist for AgeWell Pittsburgh, at 412.422.0400.

Read on to see just a few highlights of our services for older adults….

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Caregiver Connection
Having a reliable, trustworthy and gentle caregiver is often critical to keeping your aging loved one safely at home. Through our Caregiver Connection, JF&CS provides fully-screened and trained caregivers for short- or long-term engagements, with 24/7 back-up coverage as needed. 

Last year our Caregiver Connection received a certificate of licensure from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to operate as a home care registry. We are committed to maintaining a small registry of trusted and experienced caregivers, many of whom work only with our clients. As a referral service, clients negotiate fees directly with caregivers, but our staff continues to be available as a resource for all involved. 

Care Coordination
JF&CS care coordinators are credentialed geriatric social workers trained to assess, plan, coordinate, monitor and provide services for older adults, their families and caregivers. They combine compassionate care with the objectivity and expertise necessary to help you make informed decisions.

The first step is a comprehensive, in-home evaluation. All aspects of the older adult’s life are reviewed, including general health, medical treatments and providers, mood, cognitive ability, physical ability, nutrition, home safety, current benefits and relevant legal documents. From this review, a care plan is developed and implemented. JF&CS offers both a Comprehensive Care Coordination program, for which clients pay one, low monthly fee, and services on an hourly basis.

Caregiver Support Group
For family caregivers, the most important responsibility beyond caring for a loved one is caring for you. It’s a tall order, especially for those of us in the Sandwich Generation caring across the lifespan. Our monthly caregiver support group is designed to help family caregivers protect their own emotional and physical health.
Facilitated by a geriatric social worker, this is a non-disease specific group. Caregivers are invited to come for support, education and information. It’s a safe place to talk, share experiences and learn from one another. 

The Caregiver Support Group next meets on Thursday, Jan. 20, from 1:30-3:00pm in the JF&CS Family Room (5743 Bartlett Street). Register online here.

JF&CS offers the ElderAlert emergency response system, so you can feel secure in your own home knowing that if you ever need emergency assistance, help is available at the press of a button.

If you need assistance, from anywhere in your home, simply press the medical alert button. A signal is sent immediately to the response center and, within moments, a response center operator will contact you through the system to ensure everything is okay. 

The operator also will notify local emergency personnel and family or friends whom you have requested be contacted. The line then will be kept open until help has arrived.