SERVING VOLUSIA COUNTY…
The purpose of a Caregiving team is to meet your aging loved one’s needs without putting all the demands on one family member. Caregiving can be very stressful and overwhelming when one person is solely responsible. A care plan that lacks a support system cannot be successfully sustained over the long term. Family and friends are often very willing to offer meaningful support to caregivers, but are unsure how to help in a useful way. Creating a “Caregiving Team” helps each member know how they can contribute, as well as stay accountable for their role.
- Brainstorm- Create a potential list of friends and family to include in the caregiving team. On this brainstorming list include everyone that has regular contact with your senior loved one, regardless of your opinion on how helpful they actually will be. Start with family; include spouse, siblings, adult children, and grandchildren. Next add friends to the list; include close friends, neighbors, and members of church or other community groups.
- Consider strengths and weaknesses- Now go down your list and write the individual strength each person can bring to the team. Who are the good listeners, who are reliable, who are smart with their finances, who has plenty of free time? Everyone can contribute something, no matter how small it may be. Think about how they have been helpful in the past, and the relationship they have with your senior loved one currently. Also keep in mind the individual personality types. Avoid choosing people who are overly pessimistic or critical. While they may be very helpful in another area, the risk may overshadow the reward.
- Narrow it down- You have everything out on the table now. Look over the list and start to narrow it down. Choose the people who are reliable, positive, and have your loved one’s best interest at heart. Once you have your team selected, you can work with the group to divide up responsibilities and assign roles. Be specific for what you need done and how often. For example, maybe you need 2 hours on Monday to run errands, ask friend if they can come over every Monday at 10:00 until noon to visit. Maybe a grandson can come over every other Sunday to mow the grass or a neighbor could walk the dog every other day.
Most caregivers need help in the following areas:
- Safety checks
- Home maintenance projects
- Meal delivery
- Companionship/social interaction
- Lunch or dinner outings
- Grocery shopping
- Prescription pick up
- House cleaning
- Pet care
- Health appointments
- Keeping track of finances
- Use professionals to fill in the gap- You now know the support friends and family can offer, and there may be gaps in care that need filled. Maybe no one is available during weekdays, and you could use an Adult Day Care Service to provide a few hours for you to run errands. Maybe you struggle finding time to grocery shop and could use a home grocery delivery service.
Here are some examples of professionals to offer support:
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