Millions of Americans each year selflessly donate their time and talents to care for aging-in-place relatives, friends, and spouses. With everything else on their plate, serving as an informal caregiver can be a physically and emotionally demanding job even on the best of days. Once burnout sets in, the quality of life for both caregiver and care recipient suffers. Thankfully, staying refreshed while delivering the level of in-home care your loved one deserves is possible by using a team caregiving approach.
Building Your Caregiver “Dream Team”
First, make a list of volunteers and professionals who could join your care team and contribute to its success. Your roster of caregiving talent may include:
- Family members, including children
- Friends and neighbors
- Community volunteers that work with the aging
- Geriatric care manager
- Caregiver support groups
- Healthcare professionals
- Home care providers
Once you’ve assembled your “all-star” team, it will be time to proceed.
Implementing the Right Care Team Strategy
Next, you’ll need to start utilizing the time and talents of each caregiving team member. For starters, hold a family meeting during which time you can all discuss the needs of your loved one and share any concerns.
Choose someone to serve as team leader, and delegate responsibilities based on everyone’s skills and ability to contribute. For instance, if your brother is a financial whiz, he may be a good choice to handle Mom or Dad’s monthly bills and bank account records.
Long-distance family caregivers can still contribute by making phone calls, sending emails, or managing medical billing and payment issues. Agree to hold monthly or bi-monthly meetings, during which time observations can be shared and caregiving adjustments discussed.
Maximizing Your Caregiving Team’s Strengths
Once your caregiving team is operational, it’ll be time to take full advantage of each member’s potential. Here are some of the ways to get the most out of your caregiving roster:
Address your senior’s changing needs
Go back and review your loved one’s initial care assessment and determine what’s lacking or getting overlooked in their current routine. As the team leader, ask yourself, “What new objectives would I like to help them achieve?” Once you have a list, prioritize their caregiving needs based on the order of importance.
While compiling your home care wish list, don’t forget to respect your loved one’s wishes in the event their condition grows worse due to a chronic illness or injurious fall. Use the same approach to help them prepare for long-term objectives such as estate planning, financial planning, or funeral planning.
Fill in caregiving gaps
If your home care plan still has holes, don’t hesitate to fill them with outside resources like a meal delivery service, online pharmacy, paratransit service, or adult daycare. Your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) can also be an invaluable resource for locating senior services you may not otherwise be familiar with.
Recruit additional team members
One of the easiest and most reliable ways for family caregivers to get much-needed support is to hire a professional in-home caregiver from a reputable home care agency. 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.
Most home care providers maintain on-call nurse supervisors 24/7 in the event of an emergency. As a single point of contact, a care coordinator can answer any questions the family might have and make recommendations to ensure that the level of care provided remains high as the aging process plays out.
A Trusted Member of Your Home Care Team
Senior1Care is your trusted partner in providing quality, compassionate home care services to seniors living in Granger, Osceola, Mishawaka, and the greater South Bend area. Our experienced caregivers are trained to deliver professional, reliable care in the same respectful and friendly manner that they would treat their own family members.
At Senior1Care, we understand that having a caregiver in your loved one’s home is a decision that requires trust. Our goal is to build relationships with clients by listening to their needs and providing the highest level of quality care possible. We are committed to helping your loved ones maintain their well-being, independence, and comfort. To learn more about our flexible caregiving options or schedule a FREE assessment for a senior in the greater South Bend, IN, area, visit us by clicking here now.