We do a lot to plan for the future. As soon as we start working, we begin contributing to pensions and work towards our retirement goals. We fixate on that ideal view of retirement – visiting grandchildren, living somewhere warmer, traveling the world, and enjoying our hobbies. But we don’t tend to look much further than that – the day when we will no longer be able to care for ourselves entirely.
This means that when the time comes to hire a caregiver, your loved ones must try to agree on what would be best, who will care for you, and how to pay for it. It is the common human way of addressing an issue only once it becomes an issue.
The obvious conclusion is to make a personal caregiving plan before you need care. Addressing all of the issues well in advance – while you still have control over the decisions – will save everyone the additional stress of this stage in life.
What to include in your personal caregiving plan:
- Who will take care of you? If you would like a caregiver, identify an organisation you would like to hire, and explain the necessary funding. If you understand one of your children will care for you, make sure this is clear to everyone.
- Where would you like to live? Perhaps you planned on moving home to be close to grandchildren, or would like to live in a retirement community in your favourite city. Explain clearly if it is important to you to stay where you currently are.
- What would you like your time to look like? Explain clearly that your caregiver should be responsible for cultural outings, and moderate exercise, for example.
- How are decisions to be made? Dictate the loved one who has power of attorney over your care, and be sure they know your wishes. Be sure they will have access to all the necessary financial information, as well.
- Explain specifically your feelings towards illness and injury. What would you like to be treated for, and how/who would you like treating you?
For every family, a caregiving plan will be slightly different. Consider your loved ones and the questions they will need answers to when the time comes. Although no one likes to think about these things, it’s far better to complete your caregiving plan now, so when the stage in your life arrives you and your loved ones can enjoy a smooth transition.