Want to Be a Better Caregiver? Follow These 3 Steps...
By David Williams, Co-Founder & CEO, Care3. In this post, I am going to show you how you can take the best care of your loved one, get them to their best health outcome possible, and keep you sane and successful at the same time—all with a simple 3-step formula.
The #1 Struggle Primary Caregivers Face Today…
I have talked to hundreds of family caregivers. They've told me their stories about the challenges they face and the emotional toll caregiving can take on themselves and their families. I kept hearing the same thing....I even posted on Facebook and the first three comments confirmed what I was hearing.
- Letting family members know about Care3
and what I hear is the #1 struggle:
- Getting family and friends to help.
Family Caregiving in 2017 (and Beyond)
You already know that caring for a loved one has to result in reaching a goal.
- Stay OUT of the hospital
- Stay ON medications
- Live INDEPENDENTLY as an aging adult
Most family caregivers don’t have a process in place to care. They do like I did at first. All of the medications and care tasks are written on paper.
When things change, though, how quickly does that system work? You spend more time updating the paper than giving care.
In 2017, we all use mobile phones. Why shouldn’t there be a mobile app that can help you care for your loved one and keep everyone in your family updated on the progress?
Shouldn’t the same also help organize the care tasks and get others to help?
I guarantee you that putting a process in place will help your loved one reach a care goal while also making your life smoother and easier. Using technology accomplishes this process even faster.
How My Mom Went from 12 Hospitalizations in a Year to ZERO.
This is us the day we moved mom back into her own home.
It was a happy day. We were a little nervous, but we knew that she could take care of herself. That was huge for our confidence…and her dignity.
This 3-Step Process Helped Us Manage the Care for Mom and Get Others to Help.
Here’s the reality:
Most people don’t use technology like mobile apps to manage the care for loved ones and communicate efficiently to family and friends.
If you aren’t organized then you can’t adhere to the care instructions. If you can’t adhere to care instructions, your loved one will end up in the hospital—or worse.
Don’t let that happen to your loved one. Caregiving is TOO IMPORTANT not to do right.
Step #1: Gather All of the Care Instructions and Make a List
First, gather all of your care instructions from all sources. You may have received care instructions via a brochure or printout after a doctor visit. You may have notes written somewhere like a medication list or something (ridiculous) like the BLANK worksheet I received one time from a hospital at discharge. How was this going to be helpful?
The point is, no matter how big or small, gather all of the care tasks that need to be done in one place and make a list.
For my mom, we had to gather discharge instructions, internet research, and written notes into one master list. We had to go through her prescriptions and medication history which was all on paper.
I entered the list into a spreadsheet and entered when each task needed to be done. It's a bit of work, but having that list made a HUGE difference in Steps 2 and 3.
Step #2: Decide Who You Trust
Second, think about the people who you trust to help you care for your loved one. Get the email addresses and phone numbers for everyone who wants to be kept updated.
Keep them handy for Step 3.
Think hard about who NEEDS to be kept up to date and who WANTS to be kept up to date. Prioritize the needs first. These people may be your family or maybe even close friends, but they have to be people who will help YOU.
When caring for my mom, my siblings and wife were the main care team, but we added my brother-in-law at times as well as close friends.
We used a group email to keep everyone in touch with the big updates. Day to day we just sent text messages. Using the technology made it easier to keep people in the loop, but also for them to respond. I didn't spend hours on the telephone telling the same story over and over again.
Step #3: Share Care Tasks with Everyone So They See How To Help
When people visibly see what they can do, even if it’s small, they feel like they can contribute. Most of the time, they just need to see how to help ahead of time so they can work it into their schedule rather than someone trying to tell them what to do.
This worked wonders for us as we cared for my mom. Even my siblings who were thousands of miles away, were able to actively help. We would agree on what each person would do. I emailed the spreadsheet to everyone and managed who would do what. It was a bit of a pain, but better than paper to track things.
When we cared as a team, mom got better and better. Nothing fell through the cracks, which is what was happening when she kept going back into the hospital. Technology was helpful in coordinating all the moving parts. Everyone contributed.
That is the secret!
But something was still bothering me...
There had to be a way to avoid using three different technologies, email, text messaging, and spreadsheets. It was easier to coordinate than using paper, but it wasn't as easy as I thought it should be.
And it was THAT revelation that led to Care3.
Care3 Makes The 3-Step Process Faster and Easier
Nowadays using mobile phones comes second nature, especially messaging apps. We already create group messaging conversations with family and friends with the popular messaging apps supplied on our phones.
Why not use the same mobile behaviors of messaging, task reminders, and a calendar to care for loved ones? That's why we built Care3. To help you be a better caregiver. And we help you get started with the 3-step process as soon as you sign up and install the app.
Care3 helps you complete the 3-step Care-Sharing process
Step 1: Your Care Team
Inviting your Care Team is as easy as adding a phone number or email address. Having your list of family and trusted friends ready will make this go very quickly.
Step 2: Your Starter Care Plan
Care3 helps you compile your care tasks with our Starter Care Plan. This is a list of eight common care tasks performed daily or weekly. Start with our list and add your own to customize in one step. It's that easy!
Step 3: Your Care Conversation
When you create a Care Team, Care3 automatically starts the group messaging conversation. When you finish your Starter Care Plan, you will be able to send text messages just like you would with any other messaging app.
Care3 is easy to get started, and works like any other popular messaging app.
The difference, however, is ENORMOUS:
With Care3 your text messages are private, confidential, and protected with industry grade security protocols. Rest assured that we treat your loved one's personal health information with as much care as you treat your loved one!
You Can Do This!
Right now, you have to take action.
Get started Care-Sharing now.
If you haven't invited your Care Team, do it.
If you haven't created your Starter Care Plan, do it.
If you HAVE done these things, then more power to you! You're ready to help your loved ones reach their highest level of health possible.
Good luck! We're with you every step of the way.
Questions or comments? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org/blog.