Each year, millions of Americans selflessly devote their time and talents to care for aging-in-place friends and relatives. Whether new to the caregiving game or a seasoned pro, a reliable support system is key to staying organized and focused. 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. Using these tips when developing your caregiving support system will help ensure all your loved one’s needs get met.
Assess Your Loved One’s Needs
The first step in creating an efficient eldercare game plan is to gather information and address any immediate concerns. 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 or privacy. However, assessing their current and future needs is essential for developing a suitable support system that you can quickly implement when the time comes.
Prioritize Caregiving Tasks
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, make an ordered list of caregiving needs while ranking them in order of importance.
For instance, you may want Mom to eat healthier this year or for Dad 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 Care “Dream Team”
When creating an eldercare game 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 “dream 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.
Fill in Any Remaining Gaps
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 day care. Your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) can also be an invaluable resource for locating senior services you otherwise may not be familiar with.
Take Care of Yourself
Your caregiving support system should also focus on self-care. When it’s time for a break or you just need some advice, that means taking advantage of these resources:
- Professional counseling
- Caregiver support groups
- Community volunteers that work with the aging
- Trustworthy friends, neighbors, and relatives
One of the easiest and most reliable ways for family caregivers to get some much-needed support is to hire a professional in-home respite caregiver from a reputable home care provider. Most agency-furnished caregivers can deliver services in the home that range from hourly light housekeeping and companionship to 24-hour dementia and Alzheimer’s care.
Flexible In-Home Respite Care for Seniors in Milwaukee
When it’s time to take a well-deserved break, put your mind at ease by contacting the caring professionals from Home Instead® of Senior Care. Conveniently available in Wauwatosa, Northshore, Shorewood, and more, our senior care services help to enhance the aging experience by providing practical support at home delivered with a human touch.
Our reliable in-home solutions help aging adults stay engaged in everyday life with tailor-made support to stay safe and well at home. At Home Instead, it is always our mission to provide a care plan personalized to your family’s needs – bringing you all comfort, companionship, and peace of mind. To learn more or schedule a time to talk with one of our home care specialists, please visit us at www.homeinstead.com.