It is inevitable that a family will have to come together and decide on how to care for a family member at some point. After all, parents grow old and relatives get sick—that’s life. So it is best for your family to brainstorm on care planning early in the aging stage so that there are no surprises and the stress is easier to manage.

Let’s check out these ideas on creating a care plan for a family member:

Find the Right Medical Professionals for the Patient

It is always vital to seek appropriate medical attention for a family member who may need a check up before a caregiver is hired. The doctor will examine the patient and advise the family if it is necessary to find a caregiver to support and care for the patient. Sometimes, the patient may resist a check up because they don’t want to give up their independence. However, the rest of the family should clarify for the patient why it is necessary to seek help, and why the family is looking for the right caregiver.

Identify the Designated Caregiver

Some families opt to hire a caregiver such as one from Tandem Careplanning when someone in the family has to be cared for. Others opt to assign someone in the family instead as this can be the more economical choice, or that the patient may feel more comfortable with this type of arrangement. Regardless of whether the designated caregiver is someone from a service or is a member of the patient’s family, they have to be patient and responsible, as well as competent, so these traits have to be factored in when seeking the designated caregiver.

Let Everyone Get Familiar With the Patient’s Condition and Needs

Any designated caregiver, whether hired or a family member, will need to become familiar with the illness or disorder of the patient. This means accompanying the patient to the doctor’s clinic, observing the treatment given by the nurse and doctor, and asking questions about how to care for the patient the right way. This is necessary if the patient is to benefit and become comfortable.

Keep communication lines open between the caregiver and the rest of the family. This way, the condition of the patient remains as the priority, and everyone is able to observe and contribute to the care as needed. 

Set a Clear Schedule

The designated caregiver will need to confer with the rest of the family about the schedule of care for the patient. This means organizing the patient’s activities well in advance. This means that visits from family and friends have to be planned beforehand so that there is no conflict with previously arranged activities. The designated caregiver should also present to family members the schedule for any medications that have to be administered, especially if family members are expected to purchase and provide these medications periodically.

During the care planning process, it is important for the whole family to be updated regularly by the designated caregiver about vital restrictions on the patient, especially when it comes to medication and their purchase. This is especially important if the medication is expensive or if it is often unavailable at a nearby pharmacy.

Create a Contingency Plan 

It is always sensible for the family to develop a contingency plan that will, hopefully, never be needed. Ask yourself the following questions, which can help you come up with the right solutions to these scenarios:

  • What should the family do if the patient becomes uncooperative and hostile to the designated caregiver? This sometimes happens in the case of seniors as part of the aging process. 
  • What should the family do if the condition of the patient deteriorates despite receiving the best care
  • What should the family do if the designated caregiver gives up and opts to leave? 

For situations like these, a contingency plan means trying to anticipate difficulties and setting down on paper the appropriate decisions. The family should also designate the key decision maker, who will make crucial decisions on behalf of other family members if the patient’s condition takes a turn for the worst.

Final Thoughts

It can be difficult to take care of an aging or sick family member, but this becomes necessary at some point. Your family will need to come together and discuss how to create the right care plan for your relative who needs help. This may mean hiring a trained caregiver from a service or asking a family member to be the designated caregiver. This helps reduce stress for everyone, and may mean the survival and comfort of the patient for the long term.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Care Planning 101: Tips To Setup Your Own Care Plan For A Family Member," in Medicalopedia, January 18, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/8223/care-planning-101-tips-to-setup-your-own-care-plan-for-a-family-member/].