Loving Hearts of LA ready to help caregivers and loved ones have a high quality of life | Sponsored: Loving Hearts of LA

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Caring for a loved one is difficult. Whether it’s a parent, spouse, child or other family member, daily work has an emotional and physical impact that can lead to anxiety, depression and burnout over time.

“You have to balance your own life and needs with those of others,” said Gian Durand, owner and founder of Loving Hearts of LA. “It’s really difficult, especially if you work and take care of your own family in addition to another person. Sometimes people have no support, which makes it even more difficult.

However, Durand said carers should never feel guilty asking for help. This is not a sign of selfishness or weakness, but rather an acknowledgment that they have valid feelings that need to be addressed.

“I think when a caregiver reaches that point, the first thing to do is seek help from other family members or verified programs,” Durand said. “It can also help if the person receiving care lets them know that it is okay to receive support and other resources. »

Loving Hearts of LA offers Personal Care Attendant (PCA) services for long and short term needs. Before being placed with a person, Loving Hearts of LA performs a full background check on all attendants and ensures that they complete all necessary training. Families also meet with Loving Hearts attendants beforehand to ensure they are well matched.

“We don’t just send a stranger to your house and have them start working with you right away,” Durand said. “We do a lot to make sure there’s that level of comfort and trust between everyone involved.”

While many families are looking for a PCA on a permanent basis, Durand said he’s also seen an increase in requests for his respite services. In these situations, a PCA stays with an individual for a few hours a week or on a limited basis in order to allow guardians to tend to personal needs, take a short trip, or simply have time to relax.

“We have seen that everyone’s quality of life increases dramatically. It’s a relief because the caregiver can have their own life knowing their loved one is in good hands,” Durand said. “A lady has a husband with dementia and didn’t want to leave him alone, even to go to the store. She appreciates being able to do her shopping every week without this worry. Sometimes people want to go to a family event, like a graduation or even a vacation. The respite service allows them to do this without feeling guilty.

Loving Hearts of LA’s New Orleans office also offers behavioral and mental health services, including counseling, psychotherapy, life skills management, court-ordered treatment, crisis intervention and medication management. Even though life is returning to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic, Durand said the need for mental health support has not diminished.

“I think COVID may have exacerbated issues that were already there, but people are still struggling every day,” she said. “We constantly receive requests for these services and we know there is still a great need out there.”

Whether looking for mental health support, long-term PCA services or short-term respite help, Durand said individuals should find a reputable, licensed agency and avoid posting requests for help on social media. or other online forums.

“It’s your home and your loved ones, so you want the best for them,” she said. “We carry out thorough screenings and background checks and have highly qualified training staff. Finding a reliable agency and letting them help you out will always be a better bet than trying to find someone on your own. You don’t know who’s going to respond when you post something.

Durand said once someone contacts Loving Hearts of LA, the agency logs information and needs, then conducts an in-home assessment before scheduling interviews with potential PCAs. The process is generally faster for short-term respite services. If someone is looking for long-term assistance, Loving Hearts walks the family through the process and payment options, then sets up the PCA and service schedule.

“We are doing a step-by-step onboarding process,” Durand said. “We want to make sure everyone’s questions are answered.”

Loving Hearts of LA has offices in New Orleans and Lafayette. Mental health and PCA services are available in New Orleans, while PCA services are available in Lafayette. To contact the New Orleans Loving Hearts office, call 504-821-5220. To contact the Lafayette Loving Hearts office, call 337-233-7250. For general information, visit www.lovingheartsofla.com.

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