A caregiver plan helps at any stage
No matter where you are in the caregiving journey, it’s never too late to create a plan.
Planning ahead means having more time to make decisions and being proactive instead of reactive.
Avoiding it until there’s a big problem can make a tough situation worse.
A caregiving plan helps reduce problems with older adults and family members, reduces uncertainty, and minimizes last-minute scrambling for solutions. It can also help reduce financial strain.
We found a helpful free guide from AARP that takes you through 5 steps to create a caregiver plan. It also includes helpful checklists and excellent resource recommendations.
Use AARP’s 5-step guide to create a caregiver plan
AARP has a handy guide that helps families discuss and create a plan for caregiving. It’s called Prepare to Care: A Planning Guide for Families.
It’s also available in Spanish language, Chinese language, Asian-American, Military and LGBTQ community versions – get them here.
The guide breaks things down into 5 steps to make it more manageable.
The sections include information on how to get started, questions to ask, and where to find helpful resources.
Here’s an overview of the 5 steps outlined in the AARP guide.
1. Start the Conversation
It’s tough to talk with an older adult about aging, a decline in their abilities, or the need for additional help.
And it’s not something you want to bring up without preparation.
This section shares suggestions for conversation openers, questions to think through before starting any conversations, how to proactively figure out their priorities, and how to handle resistance.
The advance thought and planning helps make discussions more successful and reduce your older adult’s defensiveness.
2. Form Your Team
Caregiving is too big a job for one person to easily handle.
This second section shares tips on forming a supportive caregiving team.
3. Make a Plan
Nobody can plan for every possibility, but having the basics covered helps reduce stress and uncertainty for everyone.
In this section, the guide gives an overview of how to create a plan, points to helpful caregiving plan templates (page 34), and shares suggestions for how to assign tasks to caregiving team members.
4. Find Support
Often, caregivers and caregiving teams need additional support.
This section walks through various resources that can help caregivers like community resources, senior care professionals, hired caregiving help, home safety updates, and supportive housing (senior care communities).
On page 12, there’s also a helpful list of 10 questions to ask before hiring an in-home caregiver.
5. Care for Yourself
Trying to balance caregiving with family, work, and other responsibilities can be exhausting.
This section covers 7 types of resources that can help you manage the different ways that caregiving can impact your life.
The rest of the guide
The remainder of the guide covers a helpful glossary of commonly used senior care terms, a variety of caregiving resources, handy checklists and information logs, and sample caregiving plans.
Recommended for you:
- How to Talk with Parents About Aging: 5 Tips and Conversation Starters
- When They Say No: 8 Ways to Introduce In-Home Care for Seniors
- 4 Ways to Provide Support While Encouraging Senior Independence
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
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