Before you being caring for a loved one at home, it’s a good idea to consult with the other members of the caregiving team (such as doctors, nurses, therapists, social worker, and family members) to identify and develop and effective strategy. This strategy is referred to as care plan. Each family’s situation is different and unique, and family members will need to work together to develop the best plan to deal with their unique situation. The plan should be flexible enough to meet the continually changing needs of the person who is being cared for. You may have to learn through trial and error what works best for you. Although is not always possible to predict the exact course of an illness or how the a person will recover, it is a good idea to discuss expectation and potential problems in advance with all members of the home healthcare team. This will help you to develop a support network and the best care plan possible, Consider the following when developing your care plan:
- How long the illness is expected to last.
- How the elderly person’s condition might improve or worsen
- Whether it is possible for the elderly person to fully recover from his or her condition or illness.
- Whether rehabilitation therapies (such as physical, occupational, or speech therapy) will be needed to promote recovery and who will provide these services, if necessary.
- The specific medical emergencies that might occur and how these emergencies should be handled.
- Caregiving adjustments you will need to make, such as changes in an elderly person’s medication or need for therapy.
*American Medical Association