How to Create a Caregiving Schedule That Works for YouSeptember 14, 2023
No two days as a family caregiver look exactly alike. Some days are more relaxed at home, while others may involve running from doctor’s appointments, to group meetings, to stores. With so much up in the air, some may be inclined to think keeping any sort of schedule is pointless. This, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. Learning how to create a caregiving schedule that works for you is essential to maintaining your caregiving responsibilities, as well as your life responsibilities. With a clear-cut calendar and list, you never have to worry about your loved one’s needs going unaccounted for.
Create a list of duties
You can’t create a schedule without knowing what tasks need to be taken care of. So, sit down to create a list of all the responsibilities that you have to take care of on a regular basis. This could be anything from grocery shopping, and feeding the pets, to going on regular walks with your elderly loved one. It’s possible you may forget about certain tasks until the time comes for you to complete them, so give yourself a day or so to allow these to come to mind.
As you develop your list, mark beside them how often you have to complete these tasks, and how long it takes on average. For instance, you may clean the kitchen once a week for about an hour. Helping your loved one bathe may take place every day for roughly half an hour. This will help you organize your schedule with more ease.
Prioritize your calendar based on needs
As you’re filling out your calendar, first mark what items need to be completed on a specific schedule. This could be recording when specific doctors’ appointments are, when bills are due, or when prescriptions need to be refilled. Once these crucial things are marked, you can create your schedule based on your needs.
Depending on the day, there will be certain tasks that you need to complete versus want to complete. In the above example, you will need to make time to help your loved one bathe every day. Cleaning the kitchen, while important, doesn’t necessarily have to be on a specific timeline. If you have to push it back by a day, it shouldn’t be a problem. Alternatively, if you’re able to clean it a day early, that is fantastic. Clearly mark the tasks that are necessary to complete and the ones that would be good to complete. This will help you prioritize your day.
Create a daily schedule for your loved one
With all your necessary tasks clearly outlined, you can create a daily schedule for you and your elderly loved one. Break down the day with responsibilities to take care of in the morning, then the afternoon, and finally the evening. That could look something like this:
- Morning: personal hygiene tasks, breakfast, exercise
- Afternoon: lunch, chores, time for hobbies/rest
- Evening: dinner, relaxing activity, personal hygiene tasks, bed
Seniors operate well with a daily regimen that remains roughly the same. A reliable routine helps seniors reduce stress, improve memory, and maintain function. Start each daily schedule with the same, baseline routine, then supplement it with any necessary, additional tasks. Don’t jam-pack your schedule with responsibilities every day, as that is the fastest way to fall prey to burnout. Instead, try to leave room for potential changes, as you never know for sure how long certain activities take.
Delegate as able
If you have siblings, cousins, or other loved ones who would be willing to assist in caring for your elderly loved one, allow them to do so. Sit down with your friends and family members to ask how much available time they have to help. Whether they can take care of your weekly grocery trips, or can even take over care for a day, it will make a world of difference.
Whatever they can delegate, make sure you schedule it in your caregiving calendar. This will keep you all organized and in the loop.
Don’t forget to budget time for yourself
A key way to be certain you are constantly offering your loved one the best care possible is to take care of yourself too. In your daily schedule, make time to manage your personal needs. Have a relaxing bath, read on your own, or even just sit with a warm drink for a few minutes without thinking about your upcoming care tasks. Your mental health will benefit greatly from this.
Receive support from a caregiver agency
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the demands of caring for a loved one, you’re not alone. Thankfully, Home Care Powered by AUAF can help. For 30 years, we have supported seniors and their families in the Chicago area with the non-medical care they need to remain at home. We gladly provide as much, or as little, support as your loved one requires to age in place.
For more information on our services, give us a call at 773-274-9262.
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