Are you feeling stressed as a care partner trying to manage your loved one's care alongside your family or friends? This can be a difficult situation to solve, but with organization, communication, and honesty, the process can be much smoother for everyone involved.
1. Stay Organized
The most important aspect to consider is organizational skills. Do you have multiple care partners helping out throughout the week? Create a schedule for care partners but also for your loved one with dementia to ensure everyone stays organized and knows their expectations. It is important to keep the person receiving care at the forefront of their care so that they understand who is taking them where or who is coming to visit them. Let them make choices about their own care.
Plan a meeting and write down your schedules to avoid misunderstandings and keep everyone on track with the care plan. This also makes it easier if someone is no longer able to help out and can reduce frustrations for everyone. Keeping a whiteboard calendar in your house can help with managing schedules.
2. Have Open Communication Often
Communication is essential to reduce stress, keep everyone informed, and reduce any conflicts that may arise. Living in the age of so much technology, use it to your advantage. Create group chats via text, Facebook, emails, etc. to stay in touch and to ensure everyone knows what is happening. This way, it reduces any time conflicts and lets everyone be a part of the conversation.
3. Be Honest
Is one member feeling much more stressed than others? Have an honest, open conversation about how you are feeling to limit negative situations. If members of the care team are stressed, the person receiving care will also feel stressed.
While this might be a difficult conversation to have, it is important to ensure that everyone, including all care partners are feeling understood and equal. Caring should be fair to everyone, and sometimes one person might feel like they are doing all the work with no space for themselves.
4. Maintain Relationships
Don't let your care plan interfere with your previous relationships. You are working as a team to support your loved one with dementia. Care with love, openness, and mutual understandings. Remember that while caring can be burdensome at times, it is also so rewarding and comes from a place of love and support.
What are some of your strategies for caring with multiple care partners? Share with us in the comments below.