Caregiving for a relative or friend in need can feel like a full-time job, and at times, can be overwhelming. Caregiving centers around relationships and time. Two valuable gifts. When you share the responsibility with your friends and relatives, everything becomes a lot more manageable.
A caregiver calendar will help you delegate important tasks and coordinate with others. Organizing time and jobs helps avoid caregiver burnout and significantly improves the quality of care your loved one receives.
Read below for a few tips on making a calendar for your circle:
Before you start delegating tasks, you must clearly understand the different things that need to be done to care for your loved one. It can be general tasks like recurring bill payments or checkups, as well as particular ones like a specific type of soap you need to use for sensitive skin. Take note of the length of time these tasks take to ensure that everyone can make room to accomplish them in their schedule.
Knowing your helpers’ skills and vacant time will help you decide which tasks you can delegate. If someone has a finance background, they may assist with handling the budget and expenses. If someone has an experience in nutrition, they may help take care of their diet. When coordinating schedules, someone working on the night shift may visit in the afternoon so you can step out to run errands. Knowing generally what everyone’s skills, hobbies, and schedules will help you create a caregiver calendar that benefits everyone.
Try mapping out a schedule that considers everyone’s skills, programs, and interests. Create a few variations to know which one works best for all. It’s not just about the one giving care but also about being cared for. Different conditions will require different kinds of care, from the duration and frequency to the actual tasks.
Consult everyone involved and get their opinion. Clearly define the needs of the one being cared for and the responsibilities of each caregiver. Most importantly, ensure that the one being cared for is on board and comfortable with your plans.
Everyone must generally understand the condition of the person they’re caring for. This helps build your care circle camaraderie and be consistent with the person you care for.
Of course, some information can be sensitive and shouldn’t be shared with the public. However, knowing the situation can make others act and help. Find a balance between what needs to be communicated to your caregiver group and what is better kept to a smaller group.
A care calendar is instrumental in helping everyone stay accountable for their assigned tasks while allowing them to tend to other aspects of their lives. While we want to count on our family to lend us a helping hand, setting boundaries and managing responsibilities is essential.
When it comes to caregiving, always proceed with compassion and patience for the ones you care for and with whom you share the responsibilities. Consider their hours of work, whether or not they will have enough energy to do tasks right after their shift, or if they can help in some other way that doesn’t require them to be physically there. Respect their time and needs as well.
Know what they’re comfortable with regarding the help they can give. Some might be more willing to share their skills and time rather than help financially—every kind of help matters. Take the time to let them know they’re appreciated.
Notice patterns, overlaps, or inconsistencies with care and the team. This is an opportunity to prioritize the needs of the one you’re taking care of. Identify which tasks are critical and time-bound versus flexible. What are the things you have to do personally, and what are the tasks you can delegate to other caregivers in your family?
Take the time to teach other caregivers how specific tasks are done so that you can confidently leave those to them in the future. Find ways to lighten your load so that you can provide a consistent quality of care for your loved one.
Breaking down complex tasks can be an easy way to reduce the back-and-forth between caregivers in the family. Simplify tasks into manageable steps to help guide them on what needs to be done. For example, if the job is to have a checkup, it needs to be broken down into more straightforward tasks like setting up the appointment, getting specific tests done if needed, and the doctor’s appointment.
This will allow other caregivers to chip in and volunteer to do the task if they have more capacity to help during that time.
Nowadays, there are many ways to coordinate with caregivers in your family, from group chats to emails, to video calls. Make good use of these tools to efficiently communicate specific updates or changes to your care schedule with others. These also allow you to keep even family members abroad or in another state up to speed, creating solidarity among everyone.
Keep your care calendar organized. Ensure that every caregiver is informed of pending tasks and other important updates with CircleOf. Privately share information and coordinate care conveniently and securely with the app so you can take care of your loved one while also making sure not to forget to take care of yourself. Schedule time for breaks and pampering for yourself, knowing you have other caregivers to rely on.
It’s no secret that taking care of elderly family members can be a challenging task. Not only do you have to worry about their physical and emotional well-being, but you also have to manage your busy life simultaneously.
If you’re a family caregiver, CircleOf is the app for you. It allows you to organize and collaborate with family and friends, maintain regular communication so everyone is on the same page. Download CircleOf today to build your circle of care.