It takes a village to care for an older adult
Caregiving is a challenge, but it’s not one that you have to face alone. Make sure you get the caregiving help you need. Here are 6 places to find help.
1. Recruit family and friends
Invite family and friends to join your older adult’s caregiving team. The saying “many hands make light work” is absolutely true for caregiving. People probably want to help, but often don’t know how or if help is welcome. Your invitation will clear that right up!
2. Divide the work
After understanding the care situation and your older adult’s needs, you’ll be able to create a list of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Create lists to stay on track with tasks and to help divide the work with your team.
3. Set the team up for success
You, or another team member, can take the role of team lead and walk through the list to assign tasks. Be sure to write down who’s committed to doing which tasks. That minimizes confusion and helps everyone follow through on the work.
4. Focus on strengths
Rely on each other’s strengths. For example, if one person is a financial whiz, it’s natural for them to take on the money management duties. It’s lucky if talents and tasks can match up like that, but even if they don’t, it’s still helpful to be able to split up the work.
5. Meet regularly
One of the tricks to a successful caregiving team is to hold regular group meetings, whether in-person or on the phone. This lets the team review the past week or month of activity to make sure all tasks were completed and to discuss new problems or questions. In each meeting, review the calendar to make sure everyone is aware of and committed to upcoming activities and tasks.
6. Hire extra help to support the team
Even if you have a strong caregiving team, it’s not always realistic for the group to handle absolutely everything. After your team has taken on as much as is reasonably possible, identify the things you’ll need to hire help for, who will do the hiring and managing, and how the team will pay for the help.
Don’t try to do it alone
As a caregiver, you’re already a hero to your older adult. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to do everything by yourself to achieve that status. Get caregiving help from family, friends, and hired help to create a team that will help you meet the ultimate goal of keeping everyone as healthy and happy as possible.
This article is part of our Caregiver Beginner’s Guide series. For all 8 articles in this series, go to our Caregiver Guide Overview.
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Eure Consulting