Planning for the Future: Building Caregiving Support Teams
May 18, 2021
Providing caregiving support to a family member or friend is often a team effort. Many times, a group of individuals come together to provide a patchwork of support to care for a loved one.
Do you have a sibling group, other family members, or friends that are starting to think about how they might care for each other if needs arise in the future? It’s a great thing to discuss before needs arise. Why not be the brave one and start a conversation about it? Here are some questions you might offer to get the ball rolling:
Questions for the person who might need support (care receiver):
- Who would you like to be included in your support team?
- Is there someone you’d like as your primary caregiver?
- List some tasks or activities that you would be open to receiving assistance with.
- Of the tasks listed, are you ok with anyone helping with these? List which tasks you would like a certain person to assist with.
- What are circumstances that would allow you to consider outside help (not someone in your support team)?
- List some tasks that you can imagine this outside help doing.
- What are some concerns or stressors that you have when you think about future care needs?
- What ways do you like to receive communications?
- List 5 items or activities that bring you joy (e.g., coffee, being outside, reading, flowers, golf, etc.).
Questions for each individual in the caregiving support team:
- What tasks are you comfortable doing for the care receiver? (e.g., prepping or serving meals, coordinating medical appointments, assisting with dressing, providing mobility help, chores, etc.)?
- What tasks are you uncomfortable doing for the care receiver?
- What tasks would you like to work on with others in your caregiving support team?
- If not the primary caregiver, list ways that you could support that person (e.g., run errands, be available so the caregiver can spend time away, help with household chores, etc.).
- If you are the primary caregiver, list ways that others in your support team could support you.
- What ways do you like to receive communication and how often?
Talking about some of these will likely lead to more questions and conversation. That would be a great outcome! Sometimes, it is helpful to have a facilitator to help guide these discussions and provide outside insight if needed. FamilyMeans Caregiving & Aging offers coaching and consultation to help with situations just like this. Learn more at FamilyMeans.org or by contacting our Caregiving & Aging team at 651-439-4840.