The Family Caregiver: How to Develop a Caregiving Plan

group of elderly peopleYour head is probably brimming with so many questions if you are about to take on the role of family caregiver for the very first time. For instance, how do you start? What are you supposed to do? Where and how can you get help? You need to develop a caregiving plan.

Begin with the essentials so that you’ll have a solid foundation in place when your loved one’s caregiving needs change later on. To start, consider these crucial questions:

  • Who are you caring for; an aging or ill parent or loved one or a disabled loved one?
  • Why does your loved one need care?
  • How long will you be caring for your loved one? Are his or her caregiving needs time-limited, such as recovery from injury or surgery or continuous until end-of-life?
  • What specific services or care does your loved one require; transition assistance, personal care, companion care, peace of mind visitations, respite care, sitter assistance, or senior home care. An experienced caregiver in La Jolla suggests that you determine your loved one’s particular needs so that you could plan for them well in advance.
  • What are your loved one’s wishes and how could you help him or her realize them? For instance, your parent might wish to remain living in his or her house independently instead of going to an assisted living facility or living in your home.

While you’re developing a caregiving plan, don’t forget to plan for your caregiving goals as well. While circumstances would differ from one caregiver to another and to one caregiving recipient to another, you must ensure that you care for your loved one with utmost compassion and that your loved one’s dignity remains intact.

Do note though that planning is just the first step. Change is among the few inevitabilities of caregiving so you need to reassess everything regularly and make changes as the need arises. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from your loved one’s doctors so that you could better plan for potential changes.

Avoiding potential changes until it’s come about could make a difficult situation worse. Advance planning means you’ll have more time to make more informed decisions and acting proactively rather than reactively.