How to Develop a Caregiving Plan

Posted By on April 1, 2023

If you’ve recently learned that a parent or loved one is needing more care and support, creating a caregiving plan can allow you more time to be proactive rather than reactive. Of course, creating a plan won’t anticipate every scenario or circumstance, but taking this time before health needs advance to discuss wishes, organize documents, and, ultimately, outline responsibilities can make the process a little more manageable. 

Things to Consider

“A comprehensive plan should list daily needs and designate a person to handle them once you or a loved one falls ill. It can be incredibly detailed, stipulating who will do grocery shopping or household chores, who will ensure medications are taken and prescriptions are refilled, and who will provide live-in care if necessary (”

Before creating your care plan, consider the different aspects of your loved one’s health and abilities. This is important for determining what level of care they’ll need and can help you start an open-ended conversation with your loved one to get a detailed perspective of how they feel.  

Physical Health

Age-related health changes, like sight and vision, arthritis, or other concerns, might be an issue for your loved one. They might require prescriptions to manage conditions such as high blood pressure or cholesterol. Ask questions as they pertain to their physical needs, such as:

  • Do they need medication reminders? 
  • Are they still able to drive themselves? 
  • Do they require special medical equipment?
  • Do they have a routine for staying active and engaged?

Important Documents 

Beyond physical needs, “There are also legal decisions to make, said C. Grace Whiting, the executive director of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. The legal titles and document names can vary, she said, but you should choose someone, like a health care proxy, to make medical decisions in the event you’re unable, as well as give someone power of attorney, so they can act on your behalf in financial, legal and other matters (”

Creating a Caregiving Plan

As you start to create your caregiving plan, sit with yourself for a moment and ask yourself some key questions:

  • Does your current lifestyle allow you the time to care for your loved one?
  • Are you financially able to care for your loved one?
  • Do you have the knowledge and experience to care for your loved one?
  • Will you need to hire professional care support?

While your first instinct might be to step into the role of primary caregiver, it’s important to think realistically about the situation. If you’re unable to provide the proper amount of care, support, and time that your loved one requires, it might be best to hire a professional caregiver or explore assisted living communities

Start the Conversation

Communication is key; as you and your family work together to create a care plan, communication will be the foundation for everyone to share ideas and concerns and offer support. 

It’s best to begin an open-ended conversation with your loved one. This is their life, and they deserve the chance to openly and honestly discuss their needs and wants. Assure them that you understand how difficult this situation can be; nobody wants to admit they can no longer live independently. Most importantly, listen to your loved one’s fears and any feelings of anxiety they might be experiencing.

Put Together a Care Team

This can alleviate stress and pressure for the primary caregiver by providing a support system of individuals who can assist with responsibilities or step in should the primary caregiver be unavailable.

A care team may consist of relatives and close friends, as well as specialists or nurses who might have more medical qualifications that can benefit your loved one’s well-being. 

Consider Assisted Living Communities

Maintaining independence is important for people as they age. In fact, losing independence is one of the biggest fears older adults have. But the goal of developing a caregiving plan for someone you love is not to limit their independence but provide them the assistance and support they need to foster it.

If providing care for a parent or loved one is not an option for your family due to any number of reasons, assisted living communities can help. HarborChase Senior Living has assisted living communities across the U.S., offering personalized care in a residential setting that allows residents to safely maintain their independence for as long as possible. 

At HarborChase, we help residents celebrate every day and strive to meet the unique needs of each individual. Developing a caregiving plan can help your family better plan for the future, and assisted living can provide you with peace of mind that your loved one is safe, supported, and celebrated.

We invite you to visit our website to find a HarborChase community near you or contact us to learn more about our assisted living services.