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Planning Care

Step-by-Step Approach to Planning Care

How do you decide what you need when Planning Care?

When the need for caregiving becomes a reality, take time to look over all your financial needs and the possible resources available to help with medical expenses because caregiving is expensive.
When the need for caregiving becomes a reality, take time to look over all your financial needs and the possible resources available to help with medical expenses because caregiving is expensive.
How to Decide What You Need When Planning Care

    When starting as a caregiver, planning care and deciding what you need for your family member seems like a daunting task. Certain needs are obvious. If your family member uses a wheelchair, you need a wheelchair ramp to navigate steps. The tricky part is figuring out how to get them and what to do with them after you have them.

Entering a New Culture

     When you become a caregiver, you discover a new culture as you enter the world of “disability.” The “disability” world has its own language, social customs, laws, regulations, processes, merchandise, etc. Eventually, it will become second nature to you, but at first, the healthcare providers and insurance agents sound like they are speaking Greek. 

“Adaptive” Everything

     Everything is in a special place for the disabled. You cannot find equipment and accessories for those with special needs where you find their counterparts.  Each store has its way of labeling its products, but often you find them listed as “Accessible” or “Adaptive” clothing. Recently, I have also seen “functional” and “inclusive” fashion labels used. Warning!  Anything labeled as “accessible,” whether clothing or equipment, is more expensive than similar products not labeled as such.  Therefore, as you are planning care and deciding what you need to buy, if you can buy the regular stuff and adapt it yourself, try to do so. Most of the time, you’ll save money.

Planning Care

     One of the best ways to approach planning care is to break down processes into categories. Think about everything that needs doing for your family member. Try assigning those items into eight separate topics. (See topics below)  Working through these eight topics can help clarify what you need to do or eliminate.  You can understand if a demand you feel is real or self-imposed.

  1. Develop a plan of care based on completing a thorough health needs assessment.
  2. Identify equipment needs.
  3. Learn essential skills you need to work smarter, not harder.
  4. Learn about the healthcare system your family member uses, your community resources, and the best way to interact with each.
  5. If your family member cannot move without help, identify potential safety risks and how you can reduce or prevent them from occurring.
  6. Caregiving is expensive. Plan a budget and identify financial resources and risks associated with your family member’s care requirements.  
  7. Create an emergency preparedness plan for you and your family member.
  8. Create a plan to care for yourself and provide coverage if you become unavailable to provide care.