Given the option, most older adults would prefer to live out the remainder of their “Golden Years” in the comfort of their own homes. Although that’s an admirable goal, the stark reality is that the average aging-in-place senior will eventually require at least some in-home assistance to remain independent. As a potential family caregiver, now is the time to plan accordingly so that everyone involved gets the care and support they need. This handy home care planning guide will help guarantee that the process is a more rewarding one.
Start Home Care Planning by Creating a Care Plan
A care plan is a template that long-term care providers use to document patient needs and preferences. Those care plans are then used to delegate caregiving responsibilities so that all those needs are met in a timely, reliable fashion. A care manager is a healthcare professional who specializes in the development and implementation of care plans.
As the primary caregiver for an aging relative or friend, your role will be to organize care providers and facilitate the caregiving duties as your loved one’s condition changes. Your senior’s care plan should also be periodically reviewed and updated to ensure those changing needs are being seamlessly met.
Form Your Caregiving Team
Whether it’s an aging parent or another loved one, leaving things to chance until the last minute is no way to develop an effective plan of care. As a united group, respectfully share your concerns with your loved one, along with ways that you would like to help. Once you’ve gotten their approval, build a care team comprised of trusted family members, neighbors, friends, and community volunteers.
But don’t forget to include healthcare professionals on your care team, like doctors, nurses, physical or occupational therapists, pharmacists, dieticians, and social workers. Once you have your “all-star team” in place, remember that you can always add more members if and when the need arises.
Adjust Your Care Plan Accordingly
While taking advantage of each team member’s time and talents, customize your initial care plan based on feedback from those spending time in the home. Using your template as a reference, periodically adjust care objectives and reassign caregiving duties to accommodate the changing needs of your loved one.
When it comes to filling in gaps in a loved one’s care plan, advice from seasoned informal caregivers who have been in the same situation can be invaluable. If you are a long-distance caregiver, the best way to stay updated on your loved one’s condition and make necessary adjustments is by holding virtual care team meetings on a weekly or monthly basis.
Strengthen Your Team with Elder Care Professionals
Over time, caregiving responsibilities can be overwhelming and exhausting, while the expertise required may eventually exceed that of immediate care team members. In those situations, it’s best to seek outside assistance from elder care professionals like:
- Adult daycare programs
- A geriatric care manager
- Senior paratransit services
- Elder law attorney
- Financial planner
- Social workers
Another reliable option at your disposal is hiring a professional in-home caregiver from a licensed home care agency to assist your family. Once added to your care team roster, they can assist your loved one with activities of daily living (ADLs), like running errands, bathing, dressing, companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, and more.
We’d Love to Be Part of Your Home Care Planning
If you are looking for ways to strengthen your care team, Adultcare Assistance Homecare would love to have an open dialogue with you about your loved one’s needs and how we can help them comfortably age in place. As a locally owned home care agency with a long track record of success, our highly trained caregivers can step in and provide your family with the care that’s needed while restoring your peace of mind.
While proudly serving families in Arizona since 1996, our home care services include respite, companion care, medication reminders, senior transportation, light housekeeping, and even 24-hour live-in assistance. To learn more about our award-winning services now or get a FREE Home Care Assessment for a senior in Phoenix, Tucson, or Sun City today, please visit Adultcare Assistance Homecare at: www.adultcareassistance.com.