Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Seniors

July 2, 2012

Caregiver gives advice to peers

Time ‘off’ is an important aspect

(Continued)

AVON —

For these reasons, John developed a care team for Nancy. He shared his eight-step process with fellow caregivers at a workshop offered through Hendricks County Senior Services at The Heath at Prestwick.

The eight-step plan includes:

n Finding a team coordinator;

n Establishing the level of care that will need to be provided;

n Meeting with the team coordinator to establish expectations;

n Selecting team members;

n Having a team gathering;

n Setting up a schedule;

n Meeting with the coordinator regularly; and

n Setting the team in motion.

“It is preferable to select a non family member (as the coordinator),” he said. “The team can more easily discuss issues that may arise and members also will feel more comfortable when needing to decline a day or time that is not suited for their schedule.”

When choosing time away, John said it’s best to have eight consecutive hours instead of two hours here and there.

“It is suggested that the primary caregiver should have an eight-hour break per week for personal time off,” he said. “I have one day a week, Thursdays, where I have eight hours off. I know when it is, so I can make plans. I really look forward to it.”

Having a large group of people on the team makes it easier on the coordinator to help fill time slots.

“Do not limit the number on your team,” John said. “The more, the better.”

He said gathering the volunteers together as a group is very important while building the team.

“Have the coordinator conduct the gathering as they are your liaison with the team,” John said. “You should inform the team as to the status of the patient, as well as discuss the health needs such as medications, hygiene requirements, abilities, and any inability of the patient.”

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