Are you starting with caregiving? Or, perhaps, you have been a caregiver for a while? Either way, it is essential to create a caregiver plan which will help you to make decisions efficiently. With a caregiver plan, a caregiver significantly reduces the number of situations that can come as a surprise. Plan everything. Never let unexpected situations surprise you. Go into details if needed, and even create a financial plan. With these several steps, you will be able to design a plan that will help you at any stage of caregiving.

Talk to Your Loved One

First and foremost, you need to be aware of your senior’s needs. Many think they know what is best for their elderly loved one. We don’t doubt you want the best for them, but the first thing you should do is talk with them. Prepare a list of questions, and highlight the most important ones. For an excellent plan, it is vital to understand their wishes and goals. Go step by step, and start with some easy questions. Leave the more difficult ones for the end of the conversation. Once you know their thoughts, you can begin drafting the plan.

Who Are the Caregivers?

Are you the only person taking care of your senior, or are there more hands? Determine how many people will be involved. All family members and relatives have their lives and responsibilities, but including more people is beneficial on many levels.

The key thing is to contact them at the very beginning and explain why your loved one needs constant or temporary care. If they are left out in the beginning, it will be very difficult to engage them in later stages. The more, the merrier. More than one person means everyone will have enough time for themselves and still be able to help.

Educate Yourself As Much As Possible

So you have the answers to your questions, know what the goals are, and have determined who is on the team. The next step is to gather as much information as possible to learn what the best way to help your loved one is. There are so many online resources that you can find every detail you need. Also, learn more about Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Check out the AARP website, and see their guide for caregivers. They enlist numerous local sources that you will find beneficial for creating a caregiver plan. If you are unable to find everything online, get in touch with other caregivers, and ask them everything on your mind. Firsthand experience is always much better than secondhand written form.

Create a Caregiver Plan

Write down all the things you have discussed with your loved one and other family members. Make sure you agree on every detail you put on the paper. Clearly state what the goals are, who is on the team, and what is needed to be done to achieve these goals.

One thing you shouldn’t neglect is predicting potential issues. It is impossible to cover everything, but with anticipation, you will feel more secure and prepared when the time comes. For example, you can plan who will drive a car if your senior ever needs to be rushed to the hospital. See who is an excellent driver, flexible with time, but still close enough.

Update the Plan Every Now and Then

As your loved one’s situation changes, the plan will need to be updated. Never design a plan and stick blindly to it. With every new situation, revise the caregiver plan and find ways to adapt it. This way you will always be ready and fewer things will be able to surprise you.

 

Images Source: http://unsplash.com