Community Blog

How to Plan Ahead as a Caregiver

By Ketan Shah

Those caregivers that you admire might seem to have superpowers, but they likely just know how to plan ahead for almost every situation. You can learn the same skills that they have and put them to work for you.

Gather Information and then More Information

When you're a caregiver, you're constantly learning. Your senior's health is changing and her needs are changing, too. You'll need to learn as much as possible about caregiving in general as well as the health issues that impact your aging family member. You don't have to memorize every detail, though. Sometimes it's most important to know where to find information when you need it.

Practice "If/Then" Flowcharts

Part of advance planning is learning how to recognize what happens next or even two steps down the line. One way to get better at this sort of thinking is to practice "if/then" statements. You start with what might happen. "If" that situation occurs "then" what? For instance, if your elderly family member isn't able to drive any longer, then you'll drive her where she needs to go or hire elder care providers to drive for her. You start with a problem and wind up with a least one solution that should help.

Determine Where You Would Find More Help

The more help that you can line up as a caregiver the better. Start making a list of different people in your life and in your senior's life that would be able to pitch in. branch out from there to other resources, such as home care services and agencies in the area that help the elderly and their caregivers. As you proceed, you'll develop quite the list of resources you can tap into when you get stuck.

Make Friends with Other Caregivers

Another major resource for you is the combined knowledge of other caregivers. You can find them in caregiver support groups, both in person and online. Other caregivers can help you to find better answers for your "if/then" scenarios and put you in touch with other resources in the area. In some situations, you might even develop friendships that allow you to become resources for each other.

Planning ahead helps you to be prepared for just about anything, but it's not essential to caregiving. If you find that it's too stressful for you to do much pre-planning, you don't have to do it. Stick with what works for you and what makes your life as a caregiver easier, even if that means that you're improvising a bit.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Palo Alto, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.