This article is part five of a six-part series on building your loved one’s care team
As our parents age, they may require more care and attention. Caring for an aging parent can be challenging, especially if you have a busy schedule. It is important to create a schedule for your care team to ensure your parent receives the care they need. Today we will discuss creating a schedule for your care team when caring for your parents or a loved one and suggest some tools to coordinate care, doctor appointments, meals, and other essential tasks.
Step 1: Assess Your Parents’ Needs
The first step in creating a care schedule is to assess your parent’s needs. This includes their medical needs, daily living requirements, and social and emotional needs. Some seniors may require assistance with bathing, dressing, and grooming, while others may need help with cooking and cleaning. Your parent may also have medical appointments and medications that must be managed. You can create a care plan once you have identified your parent’s needs.
Step 2: Create a Care Plan
A care plan outlines the tasks that need to be done and who will be responsible for each task. Your care plan should include the following:
- A list of daily tasks, such as meal preparation, medication management, and housekeeping.
- A list of medical appointments and medications that need to be managed.
- A list of social and emotional needs, such as companionship and recreational activities.
- A list of individuals who will be responsible for each task.
Step 3: Coordinate Your Care Team
To coordinate your care team, you must communicate with everyone involved. This includes family members, friends, and professional caregivers. You can use the following tools to coordinate care:
- A shared calendar: A shared calendar allows everyone on the care team to see the schedule for appointments, tasks, and other essential events. You can use online tools like Google Calendar or Cozi to create a shared calendar.
- A task list: A task list is a document that outlines the tasks that need to be done and who is responsible for each task. You can use a tool like Trello or Asana to create a task list.
- A communication tool: A communication tool allows everyone on the care team to stay in touch. You can use a tool like Slack or Microsoft Teams to communicate with your care team.
Step 4: Schedule Doctor Appointments
Doctor appointments are an essential part of caring for an aging parent. It is important to schedule regular checkups to monitor your parent’s health. This can be a great task for those family members who may not live in the area. You can use the following tools to schedule doctor appointments:
- Online scheduling tools: Many doctors’ offices offer online scheduling tools that allow you to schedule appointments online.
- Reminder apps: Reminder apps like Medisafe and CareZone can help you remember to schedule appointments and manage medication. You can also set reminders on your phone or your shared calendar.
- Transportation services: If your parent cannot drive or needs assistance getting to appointments, you can use transportation services like Uber or Lyft to get them to their appointments.
Step 5: Meal Planning
Meal planning is an essential part of caring for an aging parent. It is important to provide your parent with healthy and nutritious meals. You can use the following tools to plan meals:
- Meal Planning Apps: Meal planning apps like Mealtime and Cookpad can help you plan healthy meals and create grocery lists. One family member can do the planning and grocery list, and someone else can do the grocery shopping and Meal Prep. Or you can order the groceries through an app like Instacart and have them delivered to their home.
- Meal delivery services: Meal delivery services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron can provide your parent with healthy and nutritious meals. And if they cannot prepare a meal, there are options for prepared meal delivery services. Check your local directory for local options, or try a meal delivery service like Freshly.
Caring for an aging parent can be a daunting task. However, by creating a schedule for your care team and using tools to coordinate care, doctor appointments, meals, and other essential tasks, you can ensure that your parent receives the care they need and that all responsibility doesn’t fall on one individual. Remember to assess your parent’s needs, create a care plan, coordinate your care team, schedule doctor appointments, and plan meals to provide your parent with the best possible care. It is also important to regularly review and update the care plan and schedule as your parent’s needs may change over time.