If you’ve been a family caregiver for a while, you’ve probably noticed some physical, mental, and emotional changes in your loved one over time. You’ve seen that aging is a process, and it creates a unique set of challenges for older adults. Helping someone through that process requires patience, compassion, and a good home care plan.
Having a home care plan in place benefits everyone involved in the life and care of an older adult aging in place. Family members can build their schedules around it, and care providers with the proper skill sets can be assembled. But, the person who benefits most of all is the person receiving the care.
With a home care plan in place, the right people are in the right place doing the right things. And your loved one reaps the benefits by having their physical, mental, and emotional needs met – consistently.
Here are four steps you can take to create, and implement, an effective home care plan:
Step 1: Assess the current situation
The first step in creating a home care plan is gathering information and identifying existing and potential challenges. The seniors’ home environment, ability to perform activities of daily living (eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.), health status, medical and legal documents, and financial situation should be evaluated.
Step 2: Identify care needs and set goals for care
This is the heart of your care plan. Identifying care needs will help you address short-term and long-term issues. Short-term issues might include things like helping your loved one eat healthier, engage in more physical activity, and be around other people more often to combat feelings of loneliness.
Long-term needs could include financial planning, advance care planning, estate planning, and funeral planning. Though focusing on issues like these is less pressing than addressing health issues, they may be time-sensitive. Therefore, the sooner they’re attended to, the better.
To help set goals for care, ask these three things:
- What is lacking or being overlooked in my loved one’s current care routine?
- The objectives would they like to achieve
- The goals you would like to help them achieve
Agreeing on objectives is an effective way to convey your desire to help your family member thrive at home. Asking them what’s important to them is a sign of respect and increases the probability that they will happily age in place.
Step 3: Assemble your care team
Being a family caregiver can be overwhelming and ultimately lead to caregiver burnout – you shouldn’t, nor do you need to, take this journey alone. Assembling a team of helpful people who can lend a hand or ear when you need it will help you be a better you – and a better caregiver.
Recruit these people for your care team:
Family and Friends
- Significant Other
- Adult Children
- Close Friends
- Members of the local community
- Faith-based organizations
- Physicians (Primary Care and Specialists)
- Elder Law Attorneys
- Geriatric Care Managers (Aging Life Care Professionals)
- Social Workers
- Financial Advisors
- Home Care Agencies and Professional Caregivers
- Adult Day Care Centers
- Charities, Organizations, and Support Programs
- VA, Medicare and/or Medicaid Advisor(s)
Step 4: Implement, and monitor, your plan
Once you have your written plan on paper and have put it into action, you’ll need to regularly review it, evaluate how it’s working, and adjust it as necessary. Finding the best solutions to any challenges you’ve identified can take some trial and error; flexibility on the part of all team members is key.
Even if your loved one doesn’t currently need a formal, written care plan, beginning to address all aspects of their life can save valuable time down the road and avoid unnecessary stress. Having updated files on medications, health information, and legal documents can help you make future care decisions quickly and confidently.
Dependable Senior Care
If you’re putting together a home care plan for a loved one in Broward or Palm Beach, Dependable Senior Care can be an invaluable part of that plan. Our personalized services are available seven days a week and can range from a few hours of daily care to around-the-clock and live-in care.
For a free evaluation, contact us today. We’d love to be part of your care team.