Caring for older relatives can be a challenging and demanding task for caregivers. As individuals age, they often experience a range of physical, emotional, and cognitive changes that can impact their ability to perform daily activities and manage their own well-being. Caregivers will then step in to provide the necessary support for the older adults in their lives.
In order to make the tasks of caregiving feel more manageable, it is important to put together a plan for all family members involved to ensure the experience of caregiving is a positive one. Take a look at the key steps to take as you are developing a caregiving plan:
- Start the conversation: Don’t wait until there’s an emergency situation to speak with your family about the status of their health, finances, and household preferences. Earlier is always better in avoiding conflict.
- Establish a team. Every caregiver should have a support system so that they are not juggling the responsibilities of caregiving alone. Caregivers should be able to rely on not only family members, but also friends, colleagues, clubs, or religious and other organizations.
- Make a plan. Put together a family caregiving plan so that all family members and individuals involved can be on the same page if a crisis were to arise. A plan will be important in keeping everyone involved on track in focusing on what’s best for your loved one.
- Find additional resources. Once you are taking on more and more caregiving responsibilities, it is beneficial to seek out additional resources and support from organizations and professionals with experience in helping family caregivers. Learn more in our Caregiver Center
- Care for yourself. It can be easy to push aside your own well-being when you are caring for a sick or aging family member. Make sure to make a list of ways you can maintain your health and energy, practice self-care, and look for signs you may be experiencing burnout.
Next, it’s time to put together a plan for your older relative so that your family is on the same page when it comes to their health and well-being. Download the Family Caregiving Guide by AARP to get started.
To learn more about developing and implementing a caregiving plan, visit AARP’s Family Caregiving resources.
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