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How to help a parent in loss of autonomy?

How to help a parent in loss of autonomy?

In a context of increasingly generalized aging populations, it is estimated that nearly 4 million elderly people will be dependent by 2050. Are you faced with this situation that affects one of your parents? Discover with us the solutions available to you to help your loved one with a loss of autonomy.

Loss of autonomy, what is it?

How does the loss of autonomy manifest itself?

According to article 2 of the law of January 24, 1997, the loss of autonomy, also called dependency, defines any person who needs to be assisted to perform “the essential acts of life or who requires special supervision”. While the loss of autonomy can be caused by a fall, a neurological disease or a stroke, it generally occurs with natural aging.

The first signs that should alert you are:

  • frequent loss of balance, difficulty moving;
  • difficulty performing daily tasks;
  • behavioral changes;
  • loss of memory and impaired communication with others;
  • social isolation.

How to measure the degree of dependence?

In order to establish a degree of severity relating to the loss of autonomy, a tool has been put in place. The AGGIR grid (Gerontological Autonomy Iso-Ressources Group) aims to classify the levels of dependence of an elderly person, from level 1 (extremely dependent) to level 6 (total autonomy).

To do this, 17 daily behaviors related to daily activities are analyzed:

  • body activities;
  • mental activities;
  • social activities;
  • domestic activities.

This grid is used for the allocation of the APA (Personalized Autonomy Allowance), allocated for levels of achievement ranging from 1 to 4.

How do I find help?

Where to get information?

As soon as the first symptoms appear, you should contact a general practitioner who will make an initial diagnosis.

In a second step, if the loss of autonomy is confirmed, it is strongly advised to approach dedicated centers such as:

  • The Communal Center for Social Action (CCAS) which manages the allocation of financial aid, the management of specialized establishments or home help and implements various social actions;
  • The Local Information and Coordination Center (CLIC) which offers follow-up of procedures, raises awareness and provides guidance in dealing with loss of autonomy;
  • The Departmental House for Disabled People (MDPH) for people under 60 aims to offer support to medical and social teams, patients and their caregivers. It issues disability cards and the PCH (disability compensation benefit).

State aid

The loss of autonomy is expensive. France Alzheimer has also estimated between 570 euros and 2,300 euros the rest to be paid for the family of an Alzheimer patient. If a placement in a retirement home amounted to an average of €2,183 per month in 2021 , more than 80% of people suffering from addiction are forced to call on a loved one to financially cover the expenses related to their care.

To facilitate access to care for all, the government offers various aids:

  • Personalised Autonomy Allowance (APA);
  • Benefits from the National Old-Age Insurance Fund (CNAV);
  • The PCH (Disability Compensation Benefit);
  • Solidarity Allowance for the Elderly (ASPA)
  • Social Assistance for Accommodation (ASH).

The applicant with a degree 5 or 6 in the AGGIR grid is not entitled to APA, but can on the other hand claim home help. To do this, you should check with your pension fund.

Solutions to help a parent with a loss of autonomy

Home help

If your loved one needs help, but does not wish to leave their home, they can request an intervention request. If the loss of autonomy is moderate, contact his pension fund or the town hall of his municipality to find out what he can claim. Travel assistance, meal delivery or home visits may be arranged. In the event of a more advanced loss of autonomy, anyone over the age of 60 is entitled to APA, regardless of their income. To a request for home help , go to the government website. Once the file has been processed, an assessment visit will be organized at the patient's home by the APA medico-social team.

Similarly, some mutuals, such as Mutuelle Mieux-Etre, offer assistance services to accompany, advise and provide support in the difficult stages of loss of autonomy. Remember to inquire!

The caregiver

According to Ipsos, in 2020 there were 11 million caregivers, of whom 38% were relatives. A caregiver is often a child or a spouse who assists the person with a loss of autonomy in the tasks of daily living that have become difficult to accomplish without help. In France, there is a possibility of stopping one's professional activity to dedicate oneself to supporting a loved one with a loss of autonomy. This is the Caregiver Leave . With a maximum duration of 3 months, unless specifically provided for in the collective agreement of the company, and renewable within the limit of one year, this leave entitles you to the payment of an allowance called the Daily Allowance of the Close Caregiver ( AJPA). It is advisable to check the conditions of attribution with the CAF (the MSA if you depend on the agricultural scheme).

Specialized establishments

The specialized establishment is sometimes the most appropriate solution to help a loved one with a loss of autonomy. Living in an EHPAD or a retirement home offers a double advantage:care adapted to the degree of dependence and the maintenance of social ties. These houses offer a suitable and safe environment for your loved one. The State offers up to 4 grants to offset the often high cost of such a placement:

  • Personalised Autonomy Allowance (APA);
  • Social Assistance;
  • Tax deductions;
  • Personalized Housing Allowance (APL).

Requests should be sent to the Departmental Council on which you depend.

Caregiver, you are not alone! We support you on a daily basis to give you the strength to support your loved one.