When a loved one is no longer able to completely care for themselves it’s important they have people around them helping out to make their lives easier. More than 65 million caregivers provide more than $375 billion in uncompensated care to friends and family members. This number is staggering but reflects the love and commitment families for one another!
When your loved one is having a difficult time you may feel that it’s time to step in but you don’t have to do it all alone. Preparing a family caregiver agreement is a great first step to take so that no one has to take on the burden of caregiving all by themselves. Each family member should play a part in achieving a great caregiver experience .
The first thing you need to do is define your needs and the needs of the one you’re caring for. What kind of difficulties are they having? What kinds of medication are they taking? When do they need to go to see a physician? These are a few questions you should ask when preparing a caregiver agreement. You must also take into consideration the needs of those participating in the caregiving. What kind of hours does everyone work? What family obligations do they have? Do they themselves have any medical problems that need to be taken into consideration? Write down all these needs and sort them according to each individual.
The next thing you need to go over is how you need to treat this caregiver responsibility. Caregiving should be treated just like any other job. It can’t be done half way and needs to be a priority on everyone’s list. It’s important to be able to provide the necessary attention and care or it won’t work at all.
You should also make a financial plan for this agreement. You need to determine how much it’s going to cost to care for this person, what financial resources are available and how you’re going to compensate for lack of funds, if any. If possible, it’s best to determine how much everyone can contribute should the need arise. Determining this early, rather than at a time of urgent need can eliminate stress and disagreements. You should then set a budget and stick with it. Financial concerns are one of the biggest stresses of caregiving so taking the proper steps in advance will alleviate, or lessen, problems down the road..
After gathering and compiling this information, put the plan in writing. Having a well- written plan will eliminate any grey areas and ensure everyone is one the same page with their obligations in the plan. Discuss the plan with other family members who are going to be helping out and carefully explain everyone’s responsibilities.
Caregiving can be a very stressful and burdensome task, but with the help and cooperation of other through a caregiving agreement things will run much more smoothly and will take the stress off of any one person. A good plan can make this experience fulfilling and rewarding.