A Good Caregiving Team has a Strong First String!

May 9, 2011

Family caregivers, at some point or another, discover the importance of taking care of themselves while following a caregiving plan.  However, do you know that it’s okay to ask for help and make job assignments to the rest of the caregiving team — your family and friends?

Our third video in Home Instead Senior Care’s 5-part video series on work/life balance focuses on the importance of building a strong caregiving team and delegating care responsibilities.

According to a recent survey, more than 70 percent of family caregivers provide care without outside help.  You can build a team of outside help among family, friends, and professional caregivers.

A few tips for your game plan include:

1.  Assign responsibility. Your loved one may live at home with you and you are responsible for the daily care and meal preparation.  However, it’s a good idea to bring other family members and family friends into the game plan.  A nearby sibling could take over all aspects of medical care such as communication with providers and transportation to appointments.  A nearby neighbor may be interested in serving as social director and planning appropriate outings such as a short shopping trip, a lunch date, an afternoon drive, or a walk in a nearby park. A long-distance family member could arrange an annual visit so that you and your family could plan a holiday.

2.  Communicate to your support team so that everyone is up-to-date on your loved one’s needs. A regular huddle will keep everyone informed about care needs, medical progress or other communication issues.

3.  Prioritize your tasks. Take a look around and determine what tasks can be delegated or put on hold so that you can focus on the important issues at hand.

4.  Track your week’s activities. Just as an athletic trainer keeps track of his team’s progress, you can track your work and home activities to help you determine what tasks can be delegated or dropped from the game book.

5.  Plan respite care. Don’t wait until you need a break.  Schedule a break on a regular basis by calling a time out.  Your time alone can be for a day, an overnight getaway, or an annual vacation.

6.  Consider hiring a professional caregiver. Schedule a caregiver for a few hours a week will give you time to take care of personal needs or simply schedule a quiet time.

Chris Lerch, Owner Home Instead Senior Care Houston

We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services in Houston, please call us at 832 379-4700 or email us. We accept most long term care insurance as payment and have a full time staff supervising more than 100 quality-trained home care personnel covering the Houston, Texas area.

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