Caregiving needs for those who are frail, have an accident, or become ill is a significant event in people’s lives. 

Influencers and financial writers write or talk about the expense of caregiving. The thought is not completed; what does it cost those who will be responsible for your caregiving. 

Most long-distance caregivers are employed, and any family or friend who has a carrier will have to rearrange their work schedules, or they have to defer their carriers to spend part or full-time be responsible to a family or friend who requires care support.

When you return to where you live, stay in touch with the friends and neighbors you’ve met. 

Hiring a care support person such as experienced caregivers helps because caregiving will come to your home, deliver meals, and offer other activities of daily living support.

Learn about smart home medical alert systems. Numerous companies will provide alert systems. Medicare may pay for these services along with care support equipment.

A person who owns a long-term care plan will have access to care support specialists, home modifications, and care support equipment.

Ask their neighbors if they will be available to assist if emergency assistance is needed.

Prepare a “caregiving communication book” for providers.

Make a list of people you’ll need to contact and ensure that care providers know where and how to reach you, wherever you may be.

Other useful tips:

Investigate travel options in advance. 

Will you be utilizing your car most of the time for these visits? Keep your vehicle in good repair and check the route and weather before traveling. If you have to rent a car, look for reasonable rates.

Purchase airline tickets in advance and stay over a Saturday night. You may receive discounts when buying bus or train tickets if you disclose that it is for caregiving or an emergency.

Legal and financial issues 

These topics may be uncomfortable, but they help ensure that those who need care support are involved with decision-making even though they may be frail, or recovering from an accident or illness. 

Be organized in advance with financial, medical records, physician, medications, insurance benefits, passwords, and other helpful information.

There are internet companies that will store your essential documents to be accessed by your trusted fiduciaries. This information should be in folders in a place known to people who will be responsible for your care. In addition, have important information in digital form.

Documents to have in physical and digital places:

Legal, financial, and insurance documents,  birth certificates, social security cards, marriage or divorce decrees, wills, and power of attorney.

Bank accounts, titles insurance, sources of income and obligations, auto, life, homeowner’s, and medical insurance papers. 

Know the passwords for online financial accounts or enter the computer, phone, or iPad computer.

Review these documents for accuracy and update them if necessary. 

Contact the aging network 

Contact the local department on aging in their community. 

Create a plan of care 

Gather the family together for a meeting with the person who needs caregiving. Find out their immediate needs and concerns and work on getting them the assistance they need. Summarize your agreement among family members. Family difficulties are typical. You may need to bring in family therapist or social worker to help.

Use the information offered by The Conversation Project.

Needs Assessment

Will family or friends be responsible for full or part-time caregiving, or will competent, professional caregivers be needed for various tasks?

  • Chores, laundry, yard work, and household maintenance.
  • Grocery shopping.
  • Meals delivered to the home or prepared and served there, with clean-up included?
  • Activities of daily living such as personal care, getting dressed, or bathing?
  • Transportation to places important to your relatives, such as cultural activities, social gatherings, the pharmacy.
  • Medical appointments and consultation with doctors and other health professionals?
  • Administrative issues for trusted family members or hiring fiduciaries to be responsible for bills, banking, budgeting, and other financial matters.
  • Organize your financial, health, medical information, passwords, and legal information in folders and in digital form to be available to trusted family members or fiduciaries. 
  • Help with dispensing of medications and ensuring they are taken on time?
  • Have a safety inspection of the house (test smoke alarms, look for uneven flooring, loose rugs, lighting) to decrease in-home dangers.
  • Home modifications such as grab bars or ramps and lightning to make the home safer.
  • Arrange for trips out of the house, perhaps to adult daycare, senior center, or activities that will be pleasant to those who will be caregivers and those who will receive caregiving.
  • Schedule social visits with friends and family.

People who have a care plan in place, own long-term care benefits, have their documents and medical information available remain happier and have fewer mental health issues then those who require caregiving and living in fear, anxiety, and social isolation.