5 Essential Steps for Family Caregivers
We started this series on Family Caregivers as the value of supporting the person needing care but highlighting the importance of the family members to a plan to assist the caregiver(s). Below are suggestions to coordinate a caregiving plan.
- Break the Ice and Start the Conversation
- Bring Together Your Team
- Coordination of Care: Make a Care Plan
- Care for Your Loved One
- Care Plan for Yourself
Step 3. Coordination of Care: Make a Care Plan
Organize your caregiving team and consider your short-term and long-term goals— such as determining who will be responsible for each caregiving task.
Think about your loved one’s daily routine and plot a timeline and list of tasks and responsibilities. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to think of every detail, but you can anticipate and tweak it as needed.
- Determine your team’s roles. Ask team members what jobs and activities they would be willing and able to do. For Out of towners – can they take on a passive part such as making appointments, paying bills, and coordinating care? Unfortunately, the primary weight usually falls on a single person and a female. Focus on equality and strive for fair responsibility. How can you lighten the burden by contributing to a more harmonious team? Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks and ask for help. Think about who will handle the medical appointments. Meal preparations? Pay bills? Down to minor tasks – every little bit helps.
- Be honest with yourself. What is doable and within your ability? Caregiving tasks can involve personal hygiene tasks, such as showering, bathing, and toiling. Are you comfortable with this responsibility, or is it a job for someone else? Who else can step in?
- Evaluate and anticipate the cost of care – research budget and fund search. Cross your fingers and hope your loved one has a Long-Term Care (LTC) insurance policy or is a qualified veteran for one of your funding sources. Otherwise, this is the time to evaluate your budget and available funds and determine if you can hire trained caregivers for assistance or work within your team.
- Put it in writing. A written record will ensure everyone is on the same page and avoid misunderstandings. Set up a weekly and monthly calendar and beyond. With the convenience of today’s digital world, it is essential to summarize and distribute the plan in writing and ensure everyone understands it will evolve as time passes and the care person’s condition changes.
- Respite Care. Be honest with yourself and your team cohorts; everybody needs downtime and an escape from reality, especially the primary caregiver. In many cases, the primary caregiver becomes sicker than the loved one. Block out time and add it to the calendar.
- Determine the best team communication. Is it in person, via zoom, and consider setting up an email group? Take advantage of scheduling tools and schedule a weekly check-in time to review updates and changes. Be prepared to pivot and adapt. My mother-in-law always said, “many hands make light work”!
Remember, no one can do this alone. It takes a team. Contact those closest to you and ask for help.
Next Week we’ll discuss Care for a Loved One
Caring for others may become necessary, but so is caring for yourself.
To learn more about how long-term care insurance can help prepare you or your family, contact me for a free quote at Eleonore.Weber@YourLifeSecurity.com
Share these and your ideas with your neighbors, family, and friends.
I’m excited to announce that I’m looking forward to launching Your Family’s Essential Resource Workbook. It’s a valuable tool for anyone who wants to keep their loved ones informed in an emergency.
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All the best, Eleonore
Eleonore Weber, CLTC
Founder, Broker, Author of Long-Term Planning
Life Planning Solutions: Certified Long-Term Care Specialist
Health, Disability, Life, Long-Term Care & Medicare Insurance
© Copyright Eleonore Weber with Your Life Security 2022