Henry Ford said it best: “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, and working together is success.” The value of a team and the success of a team starts at its formation. As a caregiver, you need to know how to create a cohesive and collaborative team of caregivers, supporters, and medical experts.
Creating Your Caregiving Team
To create your caregiving team:
- Start with an initial assessment of the situation: Begin by evaluating the who, what, when, where and why.
- Who: Who is the care recipient? Is it a family member, friend, etc.?
- What: What help do you need? What are you able to do yourself? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
- When: When do you need additional help? How long will you need this help?
- Where: Does your loved one live at your house? Does the team need to travel to help? What can the team do remotely?
- Why: What is your vision for the team? How would you like others to help you?
- Determine the needs of the care recipient: Next you will need to explain the needs of the care recipient. What support does your loved one need? Will they need medication management? Transportation? Do they require additional help for limited mobility? Do they have any chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s? Do they require professional or medical help?
- Identify potential team members: Determine and list out who you think will need to be (or should be) on your caregiving team. This can include:
- Family members (siblings, cousins, spouse)
- Medical support
- Professional caregivers
- Create clear role delineation: Defining who does what can be difficult. If you have assessed the situation and determined the needs of your loved one, you can then identify and clearly articulate the roles needed on the team. You may even want to enlist their help in defining the roles in more detail. This will help your family, friends, neighbors, etc. to understand your needs and expectations.
- Develop a communication strategy: You can start by having an initial meeting with all those involved to discuss who will do what and then outline the next steps. You should hold regular check-ins with everyone.
Putting together your team (or village) will not be done overnight. You will need to take practical and thoughtful steps towards assembling and coordinating a team all focused on one mission: to provide care for your loved one. One convenient and practical way of implementing and coordinating with your team is with the Caring Village app. This “caregiver planner” app can be used as the command center for all of your caregiving needs and activities. Learn more about it here.