When faced with uncertain challenges, developing a caregiving plan can provide a sense of control and understanding to help you navigate different situations.
If you’ve recently found yourself in the position of providing care for a parent or family member, creating a caregiving plan allows you to be proactive rather than reactive. In addition, a caregiving plan minimizes uncertainty and any last-minute struggle to find solutions.
The Woodlands at Canterfield’s senior living community provides older adults personalized care in a luxury environment. In addition, we’re sharing information for those navigating caregiving to help you develop your own caregiving plan.
Where to Start
No matter where you are in your caregiving journey, a plan can go a long way. Whether your loved one has recently received a diagnosis or has been dealing with health concerns, a caregiving plan can help you determine many factors, including:
- The level of care that they need
- Financial necessities
- Medical care needs, including which doctors or professionals need to be visited regularly
- The amount of time you’ll need to spend caring for your loved one
Begin the Conversation
It’s important to discuss your caregiving ideas and plans with your loved one and other family members to ensure everyone is on the same page and nobody is left in the dark regarding important decisions.
Remember that any caregiving plan must revolve around the needs and wishes of the person who requires care. Therefore, the main goal of this initial conversation is to figure out what your loved one’s priorities are regarding their health and what their wishes are for the future should care needs change.
Consider Physical and Mental Health
Every aging journey is different, and each person can face different health changes. When creating a caregiving plan, think about the following questions:
- Do they need help with medication management?
- Are they able to move around independently or do they need assistance?
- Are they experiencing physical pains or discomfort?
Mental health is equally important to physical health, as older adults are more likely to experience depression, anxiety and isolation.
Furthermore, it’s important to incorporate future plans, especially for those living with dementia or another memory impairment. You want to make sure you know what they want for the future before the condition progresses and they are no longer able to share their wishes.
Monitor Activities of Daily Living
Activities of Daily Living, also known as ADLs, are basic tasks a person must complete in order to safely live independently. ADLs are commonly used as a guide to determine an individual’s ability to live and function autonomously, especially when age or health concerns are involved. These tasks include:
- Mobility: the ability to move freely from place to place or transfer in and out of a chair or bed without help
- Personal Hygiene: a person’s capability to maintain oral care, skin care and hair care
- Bathing: the consistency with which a person is able to regularly bathe themselves
- Continence: a person’s ability to get on or off of the toilet and properly clean oneself after going to the bathroom
- Dressing: ability to get dressed independently and make appropriate choices of clothing
- Feeding: a person’s ability to feed themselves, eat regularly and make appropriate food selections
Understanding a person’s ability to complete ADLs is helpful when creating a caregiving plan. For instance, if you need to assist Mom with mobility or dressing, who will step in should you become unavailable?
Creating a Final Caregiving Plan
After considering your loved one’s needs and abilities, it’s time to ask yourself some final questions before jumping into the role of a caregiver.
- Does your current work or family schedule allow enough time to provide care?
- Are you financially secure enough to care for your loved one?
- Will you eventually need to hire professional support?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” that’s perfectly okay! It simply means you might be unable to provide the proper amount of care, support and time that your loved one will require.
This doesn’t mean you don’t care. It’s better to be honest about your abilities to ensure your loved one receives the care and attention they deserve. In this case, hiring a professional caregiver or considering the benefits of an assisted living or memory care community might be best.
Consider Senior Living
If you are unable to provide care for a parent or family member or if they require more advanced care, senior living communities can help.
From specialized programming and an on-site fitness center to our spa and salon and elegant living spaces, The Woodlands at Canterfield is a community where individuals can relax, grow and thrive.
We encourage you to visit our website to learn more about our assisted living and memory care community in West Dundee, Illinois.