No matter what kind of support you provide, caregiving is a journey with twists and turns along the way. Circumstances change. Care needs change. Options for care change.
Creating a caregiver action plan involves assessing where you are now in the support and care you provide to your parent/s. You can then decide where you want to be and make a plan to get there. While there is uncertainty, an action plan will help you navigate the winds of change and control that which can be controlled.
Benefits of a caregiver action plan
As with many aspects of our life, one way of staying on course and reaching our destination is by setting and writing down clear and attainable goals for ourselves. Caregiving is no different. Your caregiver action plan will help ensure:
- Clarity and focus – Knowing your caregiver goals will help define the steps you need to take to achieve them.
- Optimized resources– You will make better use of often limited resource if you focus on what you really want and need to do.
- Improved use of your time – Of course time is a resource but it deserves special consideration because it is so important. Is there anything you could spend less time doing or not do at all? Can your priorities be changed to free up some time?
- Peace of mind– You likely have many things on your mind and at times it may feel like your mind is swirling. Writing down your caregiver goals can help you take inventory of all of those ideas, apply perspective and priority, and then galvanize you into commitment and action.
- Focused decision making – Knowing what you are trying to do means that you can now ask, “Does this activity get me closer to my goal?”
- Measurable results – Exploring and setting realistic and clear goals allows you to measure how well you are moving towards achieving them and gives you milestones to celebrate.
- Freedom of thought – Setting goals often helps to release your creative energies and allows you to see solutions in problems you never saw before.
- Enhanced communication – Having a caregiver support plan enables you to clarify with other people what you are trying to do and also what you would like them to do in order to support you.
The care you are providing to your aging parents is only one of many roles, relationships, and responsibilities you have that requires focus, care, and attention. Whether it’s a goal, intention, or action – knowing your purpose and making a plan is a simple, yet effective, strategy that can be applied to any aspect of your life.
Goals can be big, like bringing your mom or dad home from the hospital, to taking an extra 5 minutes to talk daily on the phone with a friend.
Caregiver goals can also be long–term, like downsizing or short–term, like making a new diabetic meal by the end of the week. They can involve accomplishing a task, like disposing all of your parent’s old medications or overcoming a fear such as talking to your parents about their end-of-life wishes.
Let’s Get Started! Here is your 1-2-3 Action Plan.