How to Coordinate Your Caregiving Team

How to Coordinate Your Caregiving Team

Caring for an aging loved one, especially one with a degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s or dementia, is no easy task. Often, family caregivers are not only faced with the challenges of their loved one’s health, but also their own as the stress and exertion of full-time caregiving takes its toll on the body and spirit. 

“Family caregivers face the risk of serious health concerns, such as hypertension, heart attack or depression, and often suffer from social isolation,” says Polly West, Executive Director at Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods in Nicholasville, KY. “One of the best ways to reduce stress and limit these adverse effects is to seek help. The burdens of caregiving are too much to bear alone, but when a group of willing, dedicated helpers take some of the weight, caring for a loved one becomes more manageable and everyone experiences a better quality of life.”

If you’re caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other serious health condition, coordinating a caregiving team can help you find the balance you need to live well.

Who to Ask for Help

Sometimes, those caring for a loved one have reservations about seeking or accepting help from others. They might think that they alone are responsible for their loved one or haven’t yet realized how overwhelming their situation truly is. If family members and close friends offer to help, say, “yes!” You don’t have to wait until you lose control of your situation to admit you need help. In fact, accepting help even during easy times can prevent struggles down the road.

However, if no one is reaching out to help, you may have to take a proactive approach to gathering willing caregivers. A good team consists of members with various gifts and abilities who share a single goal – providing the best care for your loved one. When looking for people to ask for help, consider their personalities and time commitments. For example, your organized brother would be great at remembering to pick up Mom’s prescriptions each month, or your neighbor who is a retired nurse could be a reliable caregiver while you run some errands.

Your caregiving team could include:

  • Family – Consider siblings, their spouses and other relatives who live close by.
  • Friends – Close friends of either you or your loved one, as well as close neighbors, are often happy to do what they can to help out.
  • Your loved one’s doctor – Your loved one’s physician is an invaluable source of guidance concerning how to provide great care.
  • Local organizations – Churches, community centers or senior living communities may offer adult day care or programs for families who need help with caring for an aging loved one.
  • Support groups – Your team can include those who care for you, too! Plus, fellow caregivers can offer great advice from going through similar situations.

Coordinating Your Team

Once you’ve assembled your caregiving team, you will need to determine how best to coordinate all of your strengths and resources to meet your loved one’s care needs. Suggestions for coordinating your team include:

  • Hold regular meetings – According to the AARP.org article, “Creating Your Caregiving Team,” holding frequent meetings with your family and friends is a good way to ensure communication and coordination. Use these meetings to share updates, gain support and schedule tasks. Include your loved one in these meetings so they can contribute to their own care as much as possible and maintain a sense of involvement.
  • Keep lists – The amount of tasks you have to do each day to care for your loved one can be overwhelming. Writing down everything that needs to be done can make each chore more tangible and therefore less daunting. Also, when someone asks you how they can help, you’ll have suggestions readily available for them to choose from. 
  • Communicate often – Keep everyone in the loop. It’s especially important to communicate changes in your loved one’s health or behavior to prepare them for different needs or styles of interactions. Share information about doctor’s visits (as you see fit), changes in medications or altered plans to make sure your team is always on the same page. 
  • Utilize technology – The Internet is the fastest and easiest way to keep a group of people connected. You can send updates through group emails, create a Facebook page for your team to share information or take advantage of online tools made specifically for caregiving. The Alzheimer’s Association Care Team Calendar, for example, lets you create a personalized calendar for your loved one’s care. Your team can access the calendar to keep in touch or ask questions. You can post tasks that you need help with and members of your team can sign up to complete them for you. 
  • Remember your resources – If you need help in a pinch and your team members can’t be there, don’t forget about your community resources. Keep a list of organizations and phone numbers handy in case you need some outside help.

Once you coordinate your caregiving team, both you and your loved one will start to experience the benefits of a team effort. You shouldn’t have to do it all by yourself. With a team of caring people in place, you can find relief from the stress while your loved one is well cared for.

Caring for the Caregivers of Aging Loved Ones

“At Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods, we understand the challenges of caring for an aging loved one,” says West. “That’s why we try to meet the needs of caregivers as well as senior loved ones with the services at our community. We offer Adult Day Care, where loved ones can come and enjoy the same activities, social opportunities, meals and professional care that our residents experience, and caregivers can have peace of mind in knowing that their loved one is in capable, caring hands.

“We also host regular events and seminars for families on a range of topics. These events are available to caregivers to learn about new techniques and resources to tap into to help them provide the best care possible.”

Live Life to the Fullest at Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods

Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods is a Christian Care Community offering assisted senior care, memory care and adult day services. Located in Brannon Crossing, one of central Kentucky’s most desirable areas, Bridgepointe was designed to help families grow closer as they grow older.

At Bridgepointe, residents enjoy the privacy and dignity of living in their own apartment as well as the peace of mind that comes from the support and assistance of a special team of caregivers. In short, we help our residents live life to its fullest.

Our community is designed to promote activity, interaction, socialization and enjoyment. We offer a variety of engaging activities daily, from yoga and tai chi to gardening and arts and crafts. At Bridgepointe, there’s never a dull moment and always something to do!

Discover a rich and fulfilling lifestyle combined with personalized care and support delivered by a team of experienced professionals … all within a secure, elegantly appointed community.

We invite you to visit today and discover how Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods can change your life for the better!

To learn more, contact us today!