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home care

Millions of people across the country, from family caregivers to nurses to home health aides, dedicate their time and compassion to helping aging, ill and disabled individuals receive health care and support while they remain at home. November is Home Care and Hospice Month, and Americans are encouraged to honor the health care professionals and family members who provide these essential services.

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By Tom Breedlove, HomePay by Breedlove – The holiday season is just around the corner, which means families are starting to make plans to travel, see loved ones and use up the rest of their vacation days before 2015 begins. So with the idea of time off on many people’s minds, it’s a good time to talk about how things like vacation and sick days work if you employ an in-home caregiver. Many of us are simply told when we began our current job how many vacation days, sick days or personal days we get each year and we just accept that. But did you know there are federal and state labor laws in place that dictate paid time off?

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The Care Circles of Westchester is a new program to provide family caregivers with help from a group of volunteers who can assist with caregiving tasks.

A care circle is a group of volunteers who are willing to help a person who needs care – such as an elderly person – with the tasks of daily living, such as doing laundry, walking the dog, or giving the senior a ride to a doctor’s appointment.

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The role of caregiver for an aging parent or other family member is traditionally filled by women. You may tend to picture women as caregivers to all segments almost exclusively.

But although the stereotype of women caring for elderly relatives is widespread, it is increasingly inaccurate. A recent Pew Research Center report says that in the United States, men take on that responsibility in 45 percent of cases.

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An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is a life-changing event for the patient, and also for the person who will become the patient’s primary caregiver.  Most people who have the disease, and who provide care, are women.  The Working Mother Research Institute, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, has conducted a survey of about 2,500 women, including  1,200 who have served as caregivers to people with Alzheimer’s, to determine how much they know about the disease, and learn more about the effect it has had on their lives.

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Last year, a study from MetLife was released regarding the increase of exploitation of seniors.  Through analyzing news articles that referenced financial abuse of the elderly and extrapolating data from findings, results showed that a majority of the cases involved strangers and “scams,” whereas friends and family were also found guilty of exploiting their loved ones but usually through forged checks, stolen credit cards, drained bank accounts and transferred assets.

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