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How a Family Caregiver Can Create a Perfect Schedule

Approximately 23.3% of adults provide care and assistance to a member(s) of the family or a friend. This is because of the increased number of older adults and people living with disabilities requiring caregiving. Further, caregiving improves the quality of life while inspiring self-confidence in the caregiver. However, caregivers experience difficulties looking after their loved ones. For instance, they have to create a schedule that works for them.

Knowing how to create a schedule for caregiving can make a difference in your services. Here's how to create one and some of the challenges caregivers face.

What Is the Role of Family Caregivers?

You need to understand your roles as a family caregiver before creating a schedule. Your duties will depend on the needs and health of the person under care. Here are some of the essential roles of family caregivers:

  • Assessing medical needs: A caregiver should assess pain levels, schedule medical appointments, and manage chronic conditions and medication.
  • Assist with basic needs: Sometimes, the person under care may be unable to perform basic activities like bathing, eating, and toileting due to memory and mobility issues. A family caregiver may need to offer extra care to assist with basic needs.
  • Come up with a care plan: A family caregiver needs a care plan that addresses the needs and goals of the person under care.
  • Provide companionship: A family caregiver should offer companionship to eliminate feelings of loneliness.

Some family caregivers may have challenges creating a plan or schedule that works for them and the family member for whom they are caring. It may be hard to manage your time well or you may experience physical and emotional stress, sleep deprivation, and depression. Additionally, the needs of the person under care may constantly shift, making it impossible to adhere to your schedule.

5 Tips for Creating a Family Caregiving Schedule

Family caregivers need a schedule that works optimally for them and their loved ones. Here are some tips to help create a family caregiving schedule.

1. Gather Your Tasks Together for a Schedule

First, you'll need to determine your caregiving duties before creating a schedule. This ranges from personal care to general responsibilities like paying bills. Then, determine how often you'll perform the tasks and the duration it takes. Once you have all the information, it will be easier to create a caregiving schedule.

2. Consider Appointments

The person under care is more likely to get frequent visits, perhaps from friends, other family members, or a home health visitor. So, when creating your schedule, you'll need to allocate enough time for appointments. However, it will be challenging to stick to your caregiving schedule if some visitors come unannounced.

3. Spare Some Time to Run Errands

Of course, you want to provide the best care to your loved one, but you shouldn't forget about caring for yourself. Therefore, if you can get outside help from other family members, it will free you some time to re-energize.

4. Create a Schedule Draft

Once you have all the information about your roles and appointments, create the first draft. You may need to make around three draft schedules to identify one that works for you. Don't hesitate to try more drafts until you find your ideal family caregiving schedule.

5. Put It on a Calendar

Do you have an idea of your family's caregiving schedule? Now put it in a calendar format. Don't over-rely on the traditional paper calendar. Instead, use online calendar services to enjoy more flexibility. This way, you can edit and adjust your caregiving schedule as and when needed.

You may be eligible to get paid as a family caregiver in New York through New York State's CDPAP program. The CDPAP program allows seniors who have New York State Medicaid to hire personal assitant to assist them (including family members, although spouses are not eligible to be a personal assistant).

Key Takeaways

If you have a loved one struggling with basic care needs due to age, mobility, or memory problems, you might need to assume family caregiving roles. You'll need to create a family caregiving schedule to help manage your duties. Also, if you are eligible, you may consider signing up for the CDPAP program to get paid for taking care of your loved one. The Elite Choice is a fiscal intermediary for the CDPAP program. Learn more here or call 718.925.2900.

Written by: Leah Ganz
Director of Patient Services

Leah Ganz, RN, BSN is the Director of Patient Services at Elite Home Health Care. She has an extensive background in homecare and previously worked in various specialties including pediatrics, pain management and internal medicine. She oversees all patient services across Elite's departments.