Millions of Americans each year volunteer their time and talents to care for aging-in-place loved ones. Whether you’re a new family caregiver or a seasoned pro, having an effective caregiving strategy is the key to staying organized and focused with each passing day. Caregiving strategies can vary based on the level of required care, the number of caregivers involved, and the time commitment it takes. These end-of-year caregiving tips will help ensure that you start the New Year off right with a great plan!
Determine What Care is Needed
The first step in creating a New Year’s eldercare plan is to gather information and address any immediate problems at hand. 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 and privacy. However, assessing their current and future needs is vital for developing a suitable plan of care that you can quickly implement when the time comes.
Clarify Your Objectives
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 in your mind, make an ordered list of caregiving needs while ranking them in order of importance.
For example, you may want Mom to eat healthier this year or for Dad to have a safer home. 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.
Build a Caregiving Team
When creating a New Year’s senior home care 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 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 in 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 daycare. Your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) can also be an invaluable resource for locating senior services you otherwise may not be familiar with.
One of the easiest and most reliable ways for family caregivers to get some much-needed assistance is to hire a professional in-home caregiver from a licensed home care agency. Most agency-furnished professional caregivers can deliver services in the home that range from light housekeeping and companionship to dementia and Alzheimer’s care.
Need a Reliable Senior Home Care Team for Your New Year Caregiving Plan?
Even with a detailed caregiving plan, providing an aging loved one with the care they need isn’t always easy. Finding the right person to care for your loved one is often a difficult task. At Help at Home in Chevy Chase, MD, we’ve provided personalized in-home care to families in the greater Washington, DC, area for over 20 years—including holiday companion care. Our mission is delivering the most comprehensive and compassionate senior home care possible, using a unique, hands-on approach with every client and family we serve.
Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, our in-home services include personal care, transitional care, respite care, geriatric care, end-of-life care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and more. To learn more about our top-quality home care services or schedule an initial assessment for a senior in our service area today, please visit www.helpathomecare.com.