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8 Tips to Make Your Care Calendar

Planning and managing a calendar Being a caregiver in the family requires time and effort in managing a lot of responsibilities for the loved one. It 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 tasks helps avoid caregiver burnout as well as significantly improve the quality of care your loved one receives.

Read below for a few tips on making a calendar for your circle:

1. Make a list of everything that’s needed

Before you start delegating tasks, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the different things that need to be done to care for your loved one. It can be general tasks like routine bill payments or checkups, as well as very specific ones like a particular type of soap you need to use for sensitive skin. Take note of the length of time these tasks take to make sure that everyone can adequately make room to accomplish them in their schedule. 

2. Assess your helpers’ skills and schedules

Knowing your helpers’ skills and vacant time will help you decide which tasks you can delegate. If someone has a background in finance, then maybe they can help with handling the budget and expenses. If someone has a background in nutrition then maybe he or she can help take care of their diet. When it comes to coordinating schedules, if someone is working on the night shift, then maybe they can visit in the afternoon so you can step out to run errands. Knowing generally what everyone’s skills, hobbies and schedules are will help you create a caregiver calendar that benefits everyone. 

3. Create a schedule that works for everyone

Try mapping out a schedule that takes everyone’s skills, schedules, and interests into account. Create a few variations to know which one works best for all. It’s not just about the one giving care but also the one being cared for. Different conditions will require different kinds of care, from the duration, frequency, to the actual tasks themselves. 

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, make sure that the one being cared for is on board and comfortable with the plans you’re making.

4. Keep everyone informed

It’s important that everyone generally understands the condition of the person they’re caring for.  This helps build your care circle camaraderie and to be consistent with the person you are taking care of. 

Of course, some information can be sensitive and shouldn’t be shared with the public. However, knowing the situation can actually make others spring into action and help out. Find a balance between what needs to be communicated to your caregiver group and what is better kept to a smaller group. 

5. Create a good working relationship

While we want to count on our family to lend us a helping hand, it’s very important to set boundaries and respect them—that’s why having a caregiver calendar is instrumental in helping everyone stay accountable when it comes to their assigned tasks, while allowing them to tend to other aspects of their lives. 

When it comes to caregiving, always proceed with compassion and patience, for the one you’re taking care of as well as the ones you’re sharing the responsibilities with. 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 in terms of 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.

6. Learn to prioritize

As you build your care calendar, you’ll notice certain patterns, overlaps, or inconsistencies. 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 that you can delegate to other caregivers in your family? 

Take the time to teach other caregivers how certain tasks are done so that you can confidently leave those to them in the future. Find ways to lighten your load, so you can provide a consistent quality of care for your loved one. 

7. Simplify tasks

Learning to break down complex tasks can be an easy way to reduce the back-and-forth between caregivers in the family. Simplify tasks into easy steps to help guide them on what needs to be done. For example, if the task is to have a checkup, then it needs to be broken down into simpler tasks like setting up the appointment, getting certain tests done if needed, and the actual 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. 

8. Take advantage of available technology

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 with others certain updates or changes to your care schedule. These also allow you to keep even the family members that are abroad or in another state up to speed, creating solidarity among everyone.

Keep your care calendar organized. Make sure that every caregiver is informed of pending tasks as well as 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 in time for breaks and a bit of pampering for yourself knowing you have other caregivers to rely on.

References

https://awareseniorcare.com/caregiver-daily-schedule/

https://www.senioradvisor.com/blog/2016/06/using-a-calendar-to-share-caregiving-responsibilities/

https://myhometouch.com/articles/how-to-set-up-a-caregiving-schedule

www.seniorhousingnet.com/advice-and-planning/how-to-create-a-care-calendar-for-family-caregivers

https://dailycaring.com/4-tips-get-family-to-help-with-elderly-parents/

https://www.saundershouse.org/article/3/20/2018/how-coordinate-care-aging-parent-your-siblings

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/how-share-caregiving-responsibilities-family-membersA family

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Caregiving

Five Lessons I Learned from Dad on Our Last Journey Together

Dad, a teacher by profession and a lifelong learner, was always there to offer advice and support throughout my upbringing. His values were firmly established in his early days on a farm and his character shaped during his time spent in the navy in World War II. While he was firmly set in his values, he was equally open-minded, curious by nature, and genuinely interested in people.

Caregiving with love respect and boundaries. Family road trips and love.

As a teacher, Dad had flexible summers and we could take long trips. The most memorable of these was a round trip from Florida to California in a used “sleeps four” camper that barely slept two. Mom, who was more of a city girl, reluctantly agreed to the trip, but spent most of her time just making sure that my brother and I didn’t kill each other in the backseat. And while Dad made sure to document the whole trip in photos, I built my postcard collection.

Family trips. Family vacation and road trips that set values that helped us with caregivng As a family caregiver our roles transitioned from Dad and daughter to caregiver and care recipient, and we both found ourselves at a low point in our lives.

Those summer adventures left an impression on me and I spent my adult years on the move always looking to see what was around the next corner, until my path and Dad’s converged again. On this new journey, our roles transitioned from Dad and daughter to caregiver and care recipient, and we both found ourselves at a low point in our lives. As we navigated our losses, Dad, directly and indirectly,  Here are five of those lessons that I carry with me today.

1. Boundaries work both ways, and safety and dignity are not mutually exclusive

Dad was relentless in his quest to teach me this lesson, and eventually, I came to agree that certain risks were Dad’s to take, even if it meant we might all participate in the consequences. In my attempt to keep Dad safe, I suppressed his spirit of adventure, the same spirit he had instilled in me.

We were both feeling trapped, resentful, and trying to break free from the chains of our new roles. I had set boundaries to protect my limits, but realized that Dad also had a right to establish boundaries. It wasn’t until I agreed to help him fulfill his desire to jump out of a plane on his 94th birthday that I finally learned this lesson.

2. When I acknowledged that we were both on a journey to a common destination, we could align our itineraries

Despite the fact that Dad had been a caregiver many times over, when I was explaining that I helped other family caregivers, he was confused by the term caregiver. He said, “If you’re the caregiver, what am I? The care victim?” We both laughed until it brought us to tears. I realized that just as caregiving did not come naturally to me, being cared for did not come naturally to Dad. Understanding that the destination of this last journey together was Dad’s end-of-life helped me better align my path with his and focus on making positive memories.

3. Winning is losing when fear and ego lead the conversation, so why not lead with curiosity?

At the beginning of my caregiving journey, the conflicts ranged from minor skirmishes to epic battles. One day I walked in to find Dad on a six-foot ladder trying to Velcro one of his paintings to the ceiling. After I made sure he got safely down the ladder, I asked, “So Dad, why are you putting a painting on the ceiling?” I could see that Dad’s motives were inspired by dignity, independence, and a desire for control and that my motives were most often inspired by protection and fear for Dad’s safety. But in asking that question, I found that when I replaced resistance, fear, and anger with curiosity I could better understand what drove Dad’s decisions.

4. We are where we are supposed to be. The greater the challenge, the greater opportunity for growth

At first, I viewed caregiving as an unwelcome side trip and put a lot of effort into getting back to my original journey. As time went by, I found that paddling against the current was exhausting and keeping me from stepping into the flow of my caregiving journey.

One day it hit me like a bolt of lightning that I hadn’t strayed from my scheduled journey. I realized that being Dad’s caregiver was part of it. When I embraced my place on the path next to Dad, I was able to experience the growth and learning that only a great challenge can offer. Gratitude for the challenge helped me shift from “I have to be a caregiver” to “I get to be a caregiver”.

5. Stay connected to your passions. They are self-care

Dad made oil paintings of landscapes despite the fact that his eyesight was going. I called it his Impressionism phase. He would get lost in paint and canvas, and this activity brought him so much joy.

I would note with amusement, awe, and a touch of jealousy that Dad could be carefree for hours, whereas my mind was always full of worry. But it also taught me that I, too, was allowed to get lost in activities that brought me joy. I also recognized that Dad’s painting sessions were a form of meditation and self-care that helped him thrive into his 99th year.

Dad continued to teach me life lessons during our time as travel partners on the caregiving journey. Adventure in life and living was his dignity. He kept teaching me.

Dad challenged me to be a better caregiver and, in the process, taught me lessons that will serve me well as I continue through life. You can read more about our journey and the strategies that helped us both thrive in, Navigating the Caregiver River: A Journey to Sustainable Caregiving, now available on Amazon.

Thank you and take care of your self as you take care of others.

Theresa Willbanks and her family continue to help other caregivers as they work on setting boundaries and staying close to the people you love and care for.  
We have other articles on the importance of boundaries for health and care support.

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Caregiving

10 Senior Caregiver Duties You May Do

No one ever expects to end up being a caregiver for their elderly parent or loved one, but it can be a challenging and rewarding job all at the same time. If you’re in this position, it’s important to know what duties you may be responsible for.

What is a caregiver?

A caregiver is someone who provides unpaid care to a family member, friend, or neighbor who is unable to care for themselves due to illness, old age, or disability.

Caregiving can be extremely demanding both emotionally and physically and can take a toll on caregivers’ own health. In fact, according to a study on family caregiving by Statistics Canada, having too many tasks and responsibilities when caring for a family member or friend can be a major source of stress, especially when caregivers feel they lack the resources to meet the needs of their care receiver.

To best care for their loved ones, caregivers should take time for themselves and get the support they need. Whether it’s building a support team, or taking a break through respite care, it is crucial to regain a sense of balance and joy in this challenging time.

What Is The Role Of A Senior Caregiver?

The role of a senior caregiver is often undervalued and unpaid. However, family caregivers play a critical role in the long-term health and well-being of their loved ones.

1. Caregivers assess medical needs.

Good caregivers always assess the medical needs of their patients and work to ensure that those needs are being met. They are often the first line of defense when it comes to noticing changes in a loved one’s health. Caregivers may also be responsible for administering medication or treatments, so it’s important that they are able to identify any potential health problems and take the necessary steps to address them.

2. Caregivers prepare a care plan.

Typically, a care plan is prepared in consultation with the individual they are caring for and other involved parties, such as doctors, nurses, and family members. The care plan covers all aspects of the individual’s care and includes goals, interventions, and monitoring tools. This helps ensure that all necessary tasks are completed and that the client receives the highest possible level of care. The care plan also serves as a communication tool between the caregiver and the client’s family or other involved parties.

3. Caregivers assist with basic needs.

There are varying levels of assistance with activities of daily living that caregivers provide, depending on the individual’s needs. Assistance may be limited to delivering environmental support, such as reminding individuals to take their medications or eat breakfast. For individuals with more significant needs, caregivers may provide hands-on personal care, such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. In some cases, caregivers may also need to help with basic needs such as eating and using the bathroom.

Caregivers provide companionship.

4. Caregivers provide companionship.

This is often one of the most important aspects of their job, as many seniors or people with illnesses may be isolated and lonely. Companionship can help improve mental and emotional well-being and make life more enjoyable. They offer support and friendship to people who may not have anyone else to turn to. This can be a very important service for people who are isolated or otherwise unable to socialize regularly.

5. Caregivers help with housekeeping.

Many caregivers do help with housekeeping. This can be a great benefit to the elderly person they are caring for, as it can help keep their home clean and organized. Some people only need help with basic housekeeping tasks such as cleaning, laundry, and grocery shopping, while others require more intensive assistance such as medication reminders or help with mobility.

6. Caregivers monitor medications.

Caregivers often monitor medications, especially if they are caring for an elderly or disabled person. Sometimes, caregivers will be responsible for administering medications, while in other cases, they will simply remind the person taking the medication when and how to take it. Either way, the caregiver must be aware of all medications being taken by the person in their care and any potential interactions between those medications.

7. Caregivers assess the care plan regularly.

Assessing their care plan regularly will ensure that they are providing the best possible care for their elderly patients. This includes evaluating the patient’s condition and needs and making any necessary changes to the care plan to ensure that it meets those needs. Caregivers should also be sure to communicate with their patients and their families about the care plan so that everyone is aware of what is going on and everyone is on the same page. By regularly assessing and tweaking their care plan, caregivers can provide high-quality, individualized care for their patients.

8. Caregivers prepare meals.

In general, caregivers often play a role in preparing meals for senior patients. This can include cooking meals from scratch, helping to order food from a restaurant or grocery store, or preparing frozen meals. Caregivers may also be responsible for ensuring that seniors receive enough nutrition and hydration, which can be especially important for those unable to cook or shop for themselves. In some cases, caregivers may also be responsible for feeding senior patients directly.

9. Caregivers assist with transfer and mobility.

As a caregiver, you may be assisting with transfers and mobility for your loved one. This can include helping to move them from their bed to a chair or aiding in their ambulation if they are able to walk on their own. In some cases, caregivers may also be able to provide some physical assistance with transfers. For example, they may be able to help an individual stand up from a seated position or move from one chair to another.

10. Caregivers provide transportation.

Caregivers often provide transportation for senior patients. This can be important for older adults who need help getting to doctor appointments or other necessary appointments. It can also be helpful for seniors who need assistance with grocery shopping or running errands.

Overcoming The Caregiving Isolation

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 own busy life at the same time. In fact, there are a lot of consequences associated with caregiving responsibilities, like increased risk for stress and burnout.

However, there are ways that caregivers can overcome the challenges caregiving presents. One way to combat isolation is to build a support group. This includes family members, neighbors, or the community. But how do you do that?

If you’re a family caregiver, Circleof is the app for you. It allows you to connect with your support team, who understands the unique challenges you’re facing. You can organize and collaborate with them easily, and maintain regular communication so that everyone is on the same page. Download Circleof today to build your own circle of care!