First Steps

As a new caregiver, you may feel overwhelmed by all the information handed to you to absorb when you first assumed the role. No doubt, there is a lot to learn. Furthermore, you likely received it in random order making it difficult to determine what went with what. “First Steps” provides an organized approach to getting started as a caregiver by helping you determine what you have, need, and want to succeed in your new role.  

Assessing Needs

Initially, it’s difficult to know what to do first or how to set priorities among multiple urgent demands. With a limited understanding of healthcare systems and illnesses, caregivers may need help making decisions. Knowing how to determine the urgency and severity of the need, whether for a medical reason or when purchasing equipment or supplies, helps the caregiver save money and time – both in limited supply. “Assessing Needs” provides the tools necessary to help make those choices.


Developing Plan

After identifying needs and determining priorities, it’s time to develop a plan. All decisions about making the home safer, more efficient, easier to navigate, and user-friendly should consider the information gleaned from the needs assessment. When making changes to the home, it’s also important to remember that the person needing accommodation is not the only person living in the home; they are only 1% of the total. Therefore, remember all household members’ needs, wants, and desires so that no one feels left out.

Implementing Plan

Time to implement your plan. After days or weeks of assessing needs, shopping bargains, and repurposing items for new uses, it’s time to implement the plan.   Take your time and prioritize what needs to be implemented first. Then, review your plan with others who can help you with implementation setup and reminders. 

Most important, give yourself time. Remember the joke, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time?” Well, that’s how you implement this plan too. 

Have an implementation plan and stick to it. Then, review your progress often and check back to confirm you’re still on course.

Implementing the plan will give you a sense of accomplishment. So take your time and do it right.