Recognizing the Need for Professional Care Services

by Shannon Laymon-Pecoraro, Esq.

July 18, 2014
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It is often difficult for a family caregiver to acknowledge the need for additional care services. These caregivers often feel that no one will be able to provide the level of care that they personally can, that there is a duty to provide such care, or that the only other option would be placement into a facility. I often cite the two following reasons to encourage my clients to begin exploring additional care through a professional care service provider:

  • Caretaker Burnout – Providing care to someone who needs chronic long-term care services can be overwhelming. The challenge is that you must provide 24-hour care for an extended period of time and are faced with the disheartening reality that it is unlikely that your loved one will get better. It becomes difficult to engage with others outside the home or in activities you once enjoyed and simple tasks, such as running to the grocery store, become a burden and, to top it all off, it is difficult to find a time to sleep. What people often don’t realize is that the demands of being a caregiver can put your own health at risk and affect your ability to provide care. Once a caregiver is burned out, serving as the care provider is no longer an option for the person they are caring for. It is important to watch for the warning signs and take action when the problems are recognized. A list of common signs of caretaker burnout include:  having less energy, becoming more exhausted, frequent illness, neglecting your personal needs, little satisfaction in the services you provide, inability to relax, becoming impatient and irritable, and feeling hopeless.
  • Safety – We often recognize a caregiver’s own frailty, and this situation is cause for concern as the caregiver needs to mobilize their loved one to assist with basic activities of daily living. When the caregiver is frail, the risk of injury to the caregiver and the person they are providing care increases. Additionally, we receive information that the loved one is combative towards the family caregiver, which also may lead to injury. These safety risks, in addition to others, are cause for concern and could lead to the involvement of Adult Protective Services.

The attorneys and staff at the Hook Law Center often make recommendations to limit caretaker stress and have a network of professional care providers that we recommend to our clients. It is important to remember that professional care services can be provided in the home or in the facility, and you should be open to recognizing what is the best option for you. As part of our long-term care practice area, we work with clients to develop plans that will assist with the cost of such care. If you are a caregiver, or have a concern about a loved one currently providing care, we are here to assist in these difficult conversations.
ask kitkat logoStop Signs for Birds
Hook Law Center:  Kit Kat, are there really such things as stop signs for birds?
Kit Kat:  No not really, but scientists are experimenting with ways to give birds clues about approaching glass, so that not so many are killed flying into windows and buildings. Each year, scientists estimate that between 365 to 988 million birds crash into buildings or windows and lose their lives. Migratory birds, unfamiliar with their surroundings, appear to be particularly vulnerable. Birds apparently are perceiving glass-like building facades as open sky.
The scientific team conducting this research is comprised of the NY City Audubon Society, the American Bird Conservancy, and Fordham University. They are using the Bronx Zoo and its large aviary population for the experiments. Each type of glass studied requires 60 birds be used for the trial. None are hurt in the process. They always put up fine, mesh netting right in front of the various types of glass, so they are caught before hurting themselves.
Several alternate ways of treating glass show promise. One of the most expensive options is a glass call Ornilux which has a patterned, ultraviolet reflective coating. Other options include putting horizontal or vertical stripes on the glass. So far, it has been determined that horizontal lines must be placed every 2 inches, while vertical lines can be 4 inches apart. According to William Haffey, an ecology graduate student at Fordham University, “We’re going to see how far we can stretch the limits…the fewer lines you have on the glass, the happier the architects are going to be.” Once they have made their conclusions, they will be sharing their information with architectural groups.
(Lisa W. Foderaro, “Researching Stop Signs in the Skies for Birds,” The New York Times, May 13, 2014.)
Upcoming Events

  • Hook Law Center will be participating in Senior Advocate’s Art of Healthy Aging Series held at Westminster Canterbury, 3100 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach  VA  23451.  This series will be held once a month from July through December.  Andrew H. Hook will be the featured presenter on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.  Mr. Hook will speak on Avoiding Elder Law/Care Pitfalls as well as provide an overview of Hook Law Center’s Practice Areas.    HLC Attorney Jessica A. Hayes and Shannon Laymon-Pecoraro will also provide an overview of Hook Law Center’s Practice Areas at the meetings held on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 10:00 am,  Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 10:00 am,  Tuesday, October 2, 2014 at 10:00 amTuesday, November 4, 2014 at 10:00 am, and Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 10:00 am.  We look forward to seeing you there!
  • Andrew H. Hook will be speaking to the Chesapeake Chapter of NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees) on September 2, 2014 at 12 Noon at the Chesapeake General Hospital’s Lifestyle, Health and Fitness Center.
  • Andrew H. Hook  has been invited to appear on a taping of  “The Forum with Jan Callahan,” a WHRO-produced public service program, to discuss the importance of attending the Art of Healthy Aging Convention at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in November and to discuss his seminar to be held during the convention.  More details to come!

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This report is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel. While every precaution has been taken to make this report accurate, Hook Law Center assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information in this report.