Most people have not had a conversation with family and friends about their caregiving needs where it is possible where you will be responsible for their caregiving. 

Caregiving is an event and not a place. It involves these aspects:

a. What do I know about caregiving? How will I learn how to be a caregiver?

b. Do you and those who will be caregivers have they had the conversation about why owning a long-term care plan will make the caregiving experience tolerable for those who need caregiving and those who will be responsible for caregiving?

c. I believe caregiving is not only own a long-term care plan. 

d. Are your financial, medical, insurance, passwords, and legal documents in a document or digital form for trusted people to advocate or help you make financial, legal, and caregiving decisions.

e. Caregiving is about TIME AND MONEY. It may be your time and money, or the time and money it will cost friends and family. 

This is why having an LTC plan in place or a reserve fund allocated to pay for home or care center expenses. 

f. Designating in advance powers to fiduciaries and trusted advisors to make decisions on your behalf financial and caregiving services if you cannot be involved in these decisions. 

Number One: Analyze Your Circumstances

People will need caregiving, and those responsible for caregiving do not plan and refuse to admit the challenges with caregiving. 

Most people are not prepared to be caregivers, and many have never considered what are their needs and interest if caregiving is needed.

Some of us know better but keep putting off doing anything about the current situation until it’s thrust upon us. 

Some of us think we know everything and want to stay in control and make all the decisions. 

People need to be encouraged to “start the conversation” early and, though it has to be a work in progress, craft a beginning plan.

Number Two: Organize

It’s essential to have the care recipient’s health, financial, and medical information available in folders or digital format. It is not only about wills and powers of attorney. 

Social security numbers, computer passwords, medical history, and medicare information.

Other information needs to be in one place, either in paper form or with a digital service or digital format. 

Insurance policies, important contact information, spousal information, birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce agreements, and important financial information such as investments, retirement accounts, and wealth advisor information.

Number Three: Communicate

Whether it’s an ER physician who needs to know your loved one’s situation, whether it’s your loved one who needs to be reassured or a family member who may have a different opinion, life is better if there is a continuing dialogue, respect for other points of view, and a shared conclusion.

Number Four: Prioritize

Numerous decisions need to be considered for a frail person who needs caregiving because of an accident or illness.

Who should be in charge, whether an older adult should remain at home or move to a senior facility, and, if so, where to live or what to do if there is a medical crisis.

Number Five: Educate Yourself

Knowing what to expect and what options are available makes it easier to anticipate what may be coming and more readily cope with the challenges. 

Resources for caregiving are available since one-third of our population is now performing some caregiving duties. 

Raymond at LTC Benefits offers a proprietary service where people may access care support services to find information. 

Number Six: Learn The Health Care System

Whether contacting a physician, working with the Medicare system, managing medications, figuring out how home health works, or filing claims with insurance companies, the more one knows about who to contact and how to proceed, the less frustrated everyone will be. 

Number Seven: Stay Flexible

There will be times when you need help and support, and the answers will not come quickly. It’s important not to panic and not to get mad. A sense of humor comes in handy if you can manage to keep yours. 

Number Eight: Do Your Homework

Consult with knowledgeable people. 

Number Nine: Be an Advocate

You are in charge, and you need to hear everyone out if that’s the problem or, in the case of a particular issue that has been ignored, it’s your responsibility to call attention to the situation. 

Number Ten: Take Care of Yourself

The caregiver should try hard to eat right, get enough exercise and sleep, and find ways to relax and have a diversion.