Everyone needs care at some point. It’s often an aging family member who relies on others for their everyday needs — and it requires a caregiving team to help meet those needs effectively.
But how do you build an effective caregiving team? For most individuals, building a care delivery team is a foreign concept.
If you’re faced with leading the care of an elderly family member, here are 5 ways to build the caregiving team that’s needed to meet his or her needs.
1. Create a List of Possible Team Members
The first step is brainstorming. Think about the many people in your family member’s life — children, cousins, nephews, nieces, friends, neighbors, etc. Not everyone can be a part of the ultimate caregiving team. Therefore, it’s important to brainstorm as many options as possible as you get started.
You may have initial doubts or judgments about some of the people who come to mind. Try your best to suppress those doubts and judgments. You may be surprised at the people who can bring valuable skills, abilities and resources to caregiving for your family member.
2. Evaluate Strengths and Assign Roles
Your elderly family member is going to need help in a lot of different areas: finances, health care, legal issues, transportation, diet and others. And you might know prospective team members who have the knowledge and willingness to help in those specific areas.
And don’t overlook individuals who have an abundance of the most valuable resource — time. Your elderly family member may just need someone who has time to sit and talk for awhile, time to watch him or her work on a project in the garage, or time to sit with him or her during a lengthy medical appointment.
Once you’ve identified people who can best help as part of the caregiving team, get their buy-in. And, once you have their buy-in, assign specific roles.
3. Identify Community Resources
Don’t forget to take advantage of resources available in your community. In some of the areas mentioned above — health care, legal issues, transportation, diet, etc. — your community may offer resources specifically for the elderly.
These resources are valuable for 2 reasons. First, they alleviate the burden on caregiving team members. If there’s a way for your aging loved one to get a ride to the store or to church, members of the caregiving team can focus on areas where there aren’t additional resources. And, second, community resources are often free of charge. That is, there’s no financial burden on your elderly family member or on the caregiving team.
4. Communicate Often and Schedule Regular Meetings
Communication is key when delivering care to a senior. Everyone involved in your aging family members life should be looking for warning signs like confusion, mood swings, poor hygiene, unpaid bills, etc. By communicating often, everyone involved can speak up and talk about concerns in real-time.
Make it a goal to have regularly scheduled meetings. These meetings don’t need to be in-person. You can use Google Hangouts or other online tools to gather and have a brief conversation about upcoming needs.
And there’s one other important reason why a caregiving team and regular meetings are so important — abuse of the elderly often takes place when a senior is isolated or when just a single person is delivering care. By meeting regularly, you greatly reduce the chances of your loved one experiencing any form of abuse.
5. Bring in Some Professionals
It’s great to have family members and others volunteer to serve as part of a caregiving team. But volunteers with no formal training can only do so much, so don’t be afraid to add some professionals to the mix.
Home care services are growing in popularity for a very simple reason — seniors want to stay in their own homes and have as much autonomy as possible. However, it can be difficult to do that without some form of assistance.
Most home care service agencies offer varying levels of support that can be customized to meet the unique needs of your family member.
Get Home Care Services in Bradenton and Nearby Communities
At First in Care, we specialize in delivering custom home care services to seniors in Bradenton and other surrounding areas. When your caregiving team needs added support from professionals, we can provide the assistance you need.
Get in touch today to learn more about how First in Care can supplement your caregiving team.