I recently read an article in the New York Times depicting how to make a caregiver plan so that it is ready when needed. Lynya Floyd, the author, describes a couple with a childless friend that needed end-of-life care, and the process was made easier by already having an established plan. The plan’s purpose would be to designate who would cook meals, do laundry, coordinate healthcare, and keep him company.
It is recommended that the caregiving plan include answers to the following questions:
However, even the most detailed caregiving plans will require additional effort to succeed. The New York Times article explains a situation in which a family member was discussing hiring a home health aide but experienced resistance from the ones who needed the care.
Maria P. Aranda, a professor of social work and the executive director for the Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging at the University of Southern California, told the New York Times that “the preferences, likes, and dislikes of the person receiving care should be at the forefront.”
I can recount an experience that a close friend had gone through when her grandmother became ill. My friend’s mother became the power of attorney over my friend’s grandmother. From there, they had several conversations about how to continue forward as my friend’s grandmother’s condition worsened. My friend and her mother had to make the difficult decision to move the grandmother in with them, which initially upset the grandmother.
I remember my friend telling me she was concerned about all the decisions being made and how they would impact her grandmother and her well-being. Floyd discusses ways that can springboard conversations about creating a caregiver plan. Firstly, Floyd suggests starting with goals and identifying how your loved one would like to be best supported. Secondly, Floyd explains how there will be a need for more than one conversation and how important it is to remember that everyone is on the same team and wants what is best for the one needing care. When having these conversations, it is important to remember the five questions stated above and designate who will be prepared to gather the information needed and implement the plan.
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Written by Madison Chalmers
Image by Lifestylememory on Freepik
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