Caregiving Planning - Step One : Diagram Your Current Situation

This is the first post in a series of posts on how to develop your own Caregiving Plan. Developing a Caregiving Plan allows you to better understand what you want to achieve, what all the tasks, activities, people and tools you need to interact with in order to provide care to the care recipient. By understanding this information, you can better organize your time, money and resources to meet both the needs of the care recipient and yourself.

As with all plans, the value of developing the Caregiving Plan is in doing the thinking, research and identifying options. The final plan is something you can go back to as things change to understand the impact of these changes on all aspects of caregiving and to get a clearer pictures of your options moving forward. It is also something to share with your care team so they understand your priorities.

Developing a Caregiving Plan is not something that needs to be rushed and there is no right or wrong plan. Take the time you need to work through the steps and topics and do the research.

Email me at jmkuntz@im4ward if you would like the free Caregiving Plan Templates

Create a Caregiving Web Diagram of Your Current Caregiving Situation

Caregiving Web Diagram

The above diagram is an example of what your Caregiving Web Diagram will look like when you are finished describing your sitation as it stands today.

The diagram identifies 11 Activities with sub-tasks that are common to most caregiving situations. These are:

  1. Medical Visits
  2. Medication Management
  3. Medical Supplies
  4. Personal Care
  5. Food & Meals
  6. Transportation
  7. Housing
  8. Care Providers
  9. Finances
  10. Entertainment and Companionship
  11. Self Care

The first 10 tasks are focused on meeting the needs of the care recipient. The 11th task is Self Care for the Caregiver As caregivers, we often forget that taking care of ourselves is just as important as coordinating the care for the care recipient.

If you aren't using the Caregiving Plan Template, create a table with 4 columns with the following headings: Activity, Task, Support Team, Tools & Resources.

1: Activities and Tasks Each of these Activities has sub-tasks. You may do some or all of these tasks. Write down the Activities and sub-tasks that apply to your situation.

2: Support Team Write down for each Activity and Sub-task, who is the primary person or service provider that is responsible for that task.

3:Tools & Resources Write down any of the tools and resources you may use to help you manage that task. For example, for medical appointments if you use Google Calendar to share the appointment information with others, than write that in. If you use a paper agenda, write that down. If you keep electronic information about the caregiver, write down the name of the application you use.

4:Look for Opportunities to Improve the Caregiving Situation When you are finished, what do you see? Do you see a lot of "me" in the Support Team areas? If so, that is a good indication that you should look for backup or for someone to take over that task to free up more time for yourself and to spend enjoyable time with the care recipient. If you don't have a lot of tools or too many tools to manage the information you need to deliver the services, you will want to look at finding or consolidating these tools.

This overview, gives you a good idea of the areas that require more of your focus to organize more effectively for your own well-being and that of the care recipient.

Next Installments The next installments on this topic will explain how to develop your Caregiving Plan, walk you through the development of the plan for each Activity Category and provide you with some resources to help you with your research. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me at jmkuntz@im4ward.com.

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