Are you currently caring for your aging parents or anticipate doing so in the near future? If so, you are a family caregiver. No matter where you are in your journey as a caregiver, something all family caregivers need to establish is a caregiving plan of action. Get started today on creating your own caregiving plan with these six steps.
How to Create Your Caregiving Plan in Six Steps
Step 1: Prepare Yourself and Your Family
There are important things to consider when you start caring for an aging loved one or someone in need of assistance, such as:
- Can you manage the time commitment necessary? (Be honest with your answer.)
- Can you manage the financial commitment using your own finances?
- Can you handle the personal care tasks for your aging loved one or do you need/want professional help?
- Do you have a support system – i.e. a network of others that can help you such as family members, friends, neighbors, professionals?
Step 2: Evaluate Your Aging Loved One’s Needs
You should understand exactly what your loved one will need as you begin to care for them. To do that, these questions will help organize your thoughts:
- What care is needed? What will your role be in providing care? Will you provide the care or do you need to organize professional in-home care?
- When and how long will the care be needed – daily, weekly, or 24-hour care? Is this a short-term or long-term care situation?
- Do you have the training needed to support your aging loved one?
Step 3: Open Up Communication with All Stakeholders
Open and honest communication will be extremely valuable for you, your family, and your aging loved one. Difficult topics to communicate about may include: decisions about finances, the need for others to help with caregiving, changes in health and wellness, decreased mobility, transitions of care, and more. The first place to start is to discuss the future of care with your aging loved one. Next, you need to have an open dialogue with all of your family members and those within your support network to establish next steps and put them into action.
Step 4: Form Your Caregiving Team
Putting together your care team will not be done overnight. You will need to take practical and thoughtful steps towards assembling and coordinating a team that is focused on one mission: to provide the best care possible for your loved one. Not sure how to assemble you team or who to include? Click here to get a step-by-step approach and try using Caring Village's easy-to-use mobile app and dashboard to get you all on the same page. Learn more here.
Step 5: Establish Your Plan
With your support network established, and a deep understanding of your aging loved one’s needs – you can begin working on your Caregiving plan. To help get you started, download our Caregiving 101 Checklist.
Step 6: Implement Your Plan
Once you’ve worked your way through the checklist and laid out your plan, get to work on it right away. Have regular check-ins with your loved one and your caregiving team. Don’t be afraid to adjust your plan based on new information and day-to-day changes.
The six steps listed above are a great starting point. As you embark on your caregiving journey, please check back for helpful articles, checklists, and other frequently updated resources. Send us your questions and comments and remember you are not on this journey alone!