NAPLES, Fla., March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- According to AgingCare.com's 2016 Care Plan Survey, 51% of caregivers report having no care plan to help them manage their responsibilities. Of those who had a plan in place, nearly 41% reported having no assistance from family members, friends, elder care professionals, or services such as in-home or adult day care to execute it. Furthermore, an overwhelming majority (75.25%) of caregivers reported that they felt their care plans could be improved.
With approximately 34.2 million Americans providing unpaid care for aging loved ones1, it is crucial to spread awareness of valuable tools and techniques that family caregivers can implement themselves.
In light of family caregivers' lack of formal organization, AgingCare.com has created a customizable Care Plan Guide that will help them better manage their countless duties.
"This detailed template will enable family members to take inventory of their loved ones' needs and preferences so that nothing is overlooked," said Ashley Huntsberry-Lett, Editor in Chief of AgingCare.com. "There are so many factors to account for that new and veteran caregivers alike can benefit from using this guide to enhance their current care strategy."
The Care Plan Guide includes advice for discussing future plans with a loved one, ideas for who to include on a care team, a home safety checklist, a health care assessment, and an inventory list to assist caregivers with keeping track of medical, legal, and financial documents.
"Existing carers should realize that without a plan their day has no structure," said Jude, an AgingCare.com member and the sole caregiver for her mother with dementia. It is also vital for primary caregivers and their team members to realize that a loved one's level of care and ability can change very quickly. The earlier a family gets organized, the better prepared they will be for the future.
Family caregivers often feel that the responsibility for their loved one's care should fall solely on their shoulders. While such selfless dedication is admirable, this approach to caregiving can quickly lead to exhaustion, anxiety and burnout. Sound guidance, moral support and an extra set of hands to pitch in from time to time are essential for a caregiver's physical and emotional wellbeing and, by extension, their care recipient's welfare. Having a sustainable plan in place helps to ensure the entire family is informed, happy and healthy.
AgingCare.com is the leading resource for family caregivers who are seeking trusted information, one-on-one support, and practical answers to real-life questions. Our mission is to help families plan for and navigate the care of an aging parent, spouse, or other loved one. AgingCare.com also assists families in finding home care services and senior living arrangements. This service is provided free of charge.
1 According to the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and the AARP Public Policy Institute's Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 report.