Monthly News Letter

Welcome to EAP
Employee Assistance Program of SUNY ESF

September 2014 - Is it time to step in? Knowing when your aging relative needs help

When events such as medical crisis impact your parents or older relatives, their need for assistance is obvious. But sometimes, family members miss the more subtle day-to-day signs that an older relative needs to help. Your NYS-Balance program can help you learn what to look out for.

Where to Find Help in Your Community

The task of caring for an older family member can be overwhelming, but you don't need to do it alone. There may be a variety of resources you can access in your community to provide you help and support. Every caregiving situation is different, so it is important to access the types of support that are right for you and your family. Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can provide you with resources and referrals.

In-Home Supportive Services

There are many in-home services that can help older adults stay in their own homes or in the homes of family members. Meals-on-Wheels ( programs, transportation services, friendly visitors, and access to home adaptive equipment can usually be found at no or low cost to the family. Adult day programs and senior centers can also provide daytime support for older family members of working caregivers. In-home care agencies can provide visiting nurses, caregivers, and respite services for a fee. Check your local phone book under aging, elderly, or human services for information on programs and services available in your elder's area. You can also contact the Area Agency On Aging office nearest you. They can provide referrals to local resources that may be appropriate for the needs of your family.

Placement Options

Independent living communities, assisted living facilities, board and care homes (also known as residential care or adult foster care), and skilled nursing facilities are examples of placement options. Most residential options will require an assessment of the older person prior to admission, in order to determine the level of care needed. Fees and payment sources for residential services vary greatly.

Geriatric Care Managers

Geriatric care managers provide assessments and offer information to families who are caring for older relatives. A geriatric care manager can assist a family in determining which resources and services are most appropriate for a senior adult and can help the family locate the services in the senior's area. Geriatric care managers are available in most communities and generally charge for their services.

Caregiver Support

Caregiver support groups can be found at many local hospitals and senior care facilities. Senior centers may also have information on local support groups. Informal networks made up of family and friends can also provide caregivers with needed support.

Legal and Financial Issues

It is important to review any existing financial and legal documents carefully. Wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and advance directives should all be kept up-to-date. A responsible caregiver needs to know where these documents are and have access to them if needed.

The Social Security Administration ( can answer questions in regard to benefits, and can automatically deposit payments into the bank accounts of seniors. Medicare ( can provide information on what services, procedures, and medications are covered by a Medicare policy.

Legal assistance is often available through community agencies. The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys ( maintains a database of attorneys specializing in elder law issues.

This Month's NYS Balance Webinar

Caring for an Aging Relative

According to the National Council on Aging, 29% of the US population will need to care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aging relative in the coming year. Learn how to determine the type of care needed, options typically available, and where to turn for help.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.

Register for the webinar on the NYS-Balance website.

  • Username: nys
  • Password: balance

To participate, you will need an Internet-connected PC and a phone. If the Webinar is not scheduled during your break or lunch time, you can view it later online.


EAP is seeking a Research Foundation and Management Confidential Employee to become a voting member of the committee. The Management Confidential position will be available September 1, 2014. There is a one hour per month time commitment for the monthly meeting. Anyone interested should contact Mark Hill, Chair at extension 6673 or by email at


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