Caregivers are often suddenly thrust into caring for their loved ones. Creating a support network and caregiving team with family, friends, and other service providers can help set you and your loved one up for success along the upcoming journey.
1. Set up a family meeting to discuss a care plan, schedule, contributions among each other and finances for your loved one – be sure to include your loved one in the conversation. Put a family agreement in writing and regularly meet with family and loved one to make sure everyone can voice concerns. Reassess the situation every couple of months.
2. Consolidate a scheduled list of “tasks” to be done. You can call on friends and family members to help complete. Are they available to run a couple errands or pick up a prescription? Can they walk the dog or pick up books from the library? Ensure you regularly reach out for help vs taking the full burden upon yourself.
3. Establish regular communication with your support network through a family Facebook page or blog. It’s an easy way to communicate to let your family and friends know what’s going on.
4. Seek out community resource options. Many local government agencies or community centers with aging offices have resources available to help you. The U.S. Administration on Aging can help pinpoint services in your community for your loved one and family. Community-based services may also offer free services such as phone calls, in person visits, and assistance with household cleaning and maintenance.
Social support is important. Help can come from community resources, family, friends, and professionals. Ask them!