Each year, millions of Americans selflessly devote their time and talents to care for aging-in-place friends and relatives. Whether you’re a new informal caregiver or a seasoned pro, having an effective strategy is essential for staying organized and focused with each passing day. Your share of the caregiving duties can vary depending on the level of required care, the number of caregivers involved, and the time commitment it takes. When developing your caregiving action plan, using these tips will help ensure that everyone’s objectives get met.
Do a Caregiving Assessment
The first step in creating an efficient caregiving action plan is to gather information and address any immediate concerns at hand. Considering all aspects of your senior’s daily life will result in a more well-rounded strategy for dealing with family concerns.
Take time to review your loved one’s home environment, health status, medical and legal documents, financial affairs, and – most importantly – their ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs). If your senior is like most, they might initially resist help from an “outsider” for reasons like pride and privacy. However, assessing their current and future needs is essential for developing a suitable plan of care that you can quickly implement when the time comes.
Prioritize Your Loved One’s Needs
Based on your initial care assessment, determine what’s lacking or getting overlooked in their current routine. Then ask yourself, “What objectives would I like to help them achieve?” Once you’ve answered that question in your mind, make an ordered list of caregiving needs while ranking them in order of importance.
For example, you may want dad to eat healthier this year or for mom to exercise more. While compiling your home care list, don’t forget to respect your loved one’s wishes if their condition would happen to grow worse due to an injurious fall or chronic illness. You can also use this same approach to help them prepare for long-term objectives like advance care planning, estate planning, financial planning, or funeral planning.
Start a Caregiving Team
When creating an all-encompassing senior home care plan, the tendency is to try and do everything yourself. But embarking on this journey alone can be overwhelming and lead to significant physical and emotional consequences resulting in caregiver burnout.
Instead, build a care team roster, starting with trusted family members, community volunteers, and friends. Take an inventory of all the resources at your disposal and assign tasks based on each member’s time and talents.
Then, recruit specialists like doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, dieticians, and pharmacists to fill caregiving gaps. Eldercare experts like elder law attorneys, benefits counselors, financial advisors, and certified public accountants can also be invaluable additions to your care team. A geriatric care manager can offer professional insight for organizing, monitoring, and facilitating your loved one’s care as their needs become more complex.
Recruit Additional Team Members
If your care plan still has holes, don’t hesitate to fill them with outside resources like a meal delivery service, online pharmacy, ride-sharing service, or adult daycare. Your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) can also be an invaluable resource for locating senior services you otherwise may not be familiar with.
One of the easiest and most reliable ways for family caregivers to get some much-needed support is to hire a professional in-home caregiver from a reputable home care agency. Most agency-furnished caregivers can deliver services in the home that range from hourly housekeeping and companionship to 24-hour dementia and Alzheimer’s care.
Flexible In-Home Care Support for Your Caregiving Action Plan
When you or your loved one need assistance, contact us. We are a fully licensed and insured home care provider with highly trained professionals who are experts at delivering the nurturing that your loved one deserves. While serving as an extended family in your senior’s home, our compassionate caregivers can perform duties like light housekeeping, personal care, dementia care, companionship care, medication reminders, and even live-in and 24-hour care.
Our agency’s focus is maintaining your loved one’s quality of life, along with their dignity, self-esteem, and independence. For your added convenience, all our in-home services can be individually personalized into an affordable package when and where you need them! Please visit us online now to learn more about us or schedule a FREE initial consultation for a senior in our service area.