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Approach Caregiving Like a Business

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You’re a carepreneur now – run it like a boss

Entrepreneurs design business plans to address the main cornerstones of a business. Using your own personal caregiving plan you can address those same core areas: management, operations and finances.

Here are some suggestions to help you take control in an effective and positive way.

Assessment of Services Provided

Your first task is to do a fair and thorough assessment of your business.

Begin by creating a list of all the areas where your parent needs assistance. You may find it helpful to add the degree to which they need help — does on own, needs some help, cannot perform alone. Most of the activities can be broken into two categories:

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

  • Eating
  • Bathing
  • Grooming
  • Choosing appropriate clothing
  • Toileting and maintaining continence
  • Transferring from bed and chairs
  • Moving around safely

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)

  • Managing finances
  • Driving or arranging transportation
  • Cooking
  • Shopping
  • Taking medications according to directions
  • Communicating with phone or other devices
  • Doing housework, laundry, minor home maintenance

The amount of detail you go into may depend on what stage you’re at in your caregiving journey. If you’re just starting out, you may want to use a simple checklist like this Needs Assessment Worksheet. If you’ve been caregiving for a while, you may find it helpful to use a more detailed tool like the Caregiver Notebook from Springwell.

Build Your Management Team

Every successful business has one thing in common. A stellar team running its day-to-day operations. A caregiver’s team may consist of other family members, close friends, trustworthy neighbors, clergy or member of the church, medical professionals, an in-home caregiver.

Have individual conversations to find out strengths and interests. Then it’s your job to determine which tasks each person is best suited for.

You may even want to consider adding a geriatric care manager to the team. This person will be a valuable resource.

After completing your assessments you’ll have a big picture view that will help you organize responsibilities better. This makes it much easier to move onto the next step.

Delegate Responsibilities

As primary caregiver, you are the big boss. The CEO. (What that does not mean is Chief Everything Officer!) For your own sanity and to make sure things are getting done when they’re supposed to, take the time to find an organizational tool that makes sense for you and your team. Try:

Google Calendar

Each team member can have their own personal calendar which is shared with everyone else. You can color code according to task or person, set up reminders, and it can be accessed from anywhere on any device.

Trello

A project management tool that can easily be adapted to organize tasks and to-do lists. You can assign duties, track due dates, plus collaborate on certain tasks and create discussions.

Teamup

As more responsibilities are added to your list and you add more people to your team, a tool that is designed specifically to be a shared group calendar is an excellent way to stay organized.

Check out our article “Taking Care of Your Aging Parent — THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT!” for some excellent tech tools to help save time and keep caregiving more organized.

Anticipate Growth

As a business grows there comes a time when aspects of the business can no longer be effectively handled internally. The answer: outsourcing.

The first areas businesses look to for outsourcing are financial and legal. To tighten up operations even more, use these new team member’s skills for your own personal needs alongside your parent’s. Here’s a list of resources to find someone in your area:

If you find that outsourcing won’t meet the needs of your situation, and you feel like it’s time to scale back your operation, a Senior Living community might be the best alternative.

To help your caregiving life run more efficiently look at it like a business. Some basic management skills can go a long way toward creating balance and helping you stay organized. Now you can enjoy your time as a caregiver, rather than feeling overwhelmed.