While there is no doubt that you are the most qualified person to do the various caregiving tasks you have on your plate, you are not the only one that can do the tasks. This may not seem that important now, especially if you are in the first few stages of caregiving (see caregiving 101 post), but if you are in the later stages of caregiving your opinion may change.
Caregiving is one of the most rewarding and demanding unpaid positions you will ever hold. With that in mind, there are others that are in your caree’s life that may also want to experience the rewards of caring for someone you both love. Now might be time to create your Dream Team.
Step 1 – The List
You wouldn’t recruit a jerk to be on your All-Star basketball team, so don’t recruit a potential care team prospect that makes you crazy or creates more work for you. Look around the life of your caree and see who is already pitching in. Does the neighbor guy get your Mom’s Saturday paper for her off the curb? Does her younger sister already pick her up to pay Euchre?
Think of all the people in your life that might be helpful and create a list. Think of this like your a new network marketing professional. List everyone you know without judgement of if they would or could help. Once you have a prospect list of your Dream Team, go to step 2.
Step 2 – Identify the Best in People
There are so many great things about caregiving and one of those is you get to identify the best in people. As you review the prospect list for your Dream Team, consider their key strengths. Having an attitude of gratitude for those around you is a great skill to have anyway, but being able to use it to put the right people in the right roles is priceless. Does Uncle Bob have an affinity for numbers? Maybe he would be willing to take care of the bills. Does Aunt Gene love playing cards? Maybe she can take Mom to Euchre. You get the idea.
Step 3 – To the Victor Comes the Spoils
Once you find the A-Team, now it is time to create the team. They won! They get the booty – they are on the team! You have found a bunch of folks that have some really great strengths that could benefit your caree. Now it is time to contact them and invite them to be part of the team. You can use the MindLight app to invite them all the “Team Mom” by email or text.
Once they have been invited to the team they can start entering some basic profile data for you in the app. Just the basics, like phone and address information. The nice thing about the app is you don’t have to ask them each for what you need, the app asks them for the information you need to keep in touch.
Step 4 – Give Them a Job
We forget that everyone is not able to read our minds. Now that you have assembled the A-Team it is time to get them helping you out. Think about it. If you recruited an All-Star Studded Dream Team, would they all like sitting on the bench? Nope. So give them things to do.
The key to getting help is to identify specific tasks and ask others to do them. Again, the MindLight app tries to make this easier for you. You can create a task and assign it to one or all of your team members. The first person to complete it will take it off the list for everyone.
One tip for getting a task done is to be specific. Make sure you give all the details in the task that you want done so you don’t have to call them or vice versa each time you ask them to do something. Make sure they know when it is, where it is, how long it will be, and what they are expected to do.
Step 5 – Bring in the Ringer
Every once in awhile your A-Team will have other things to do. Even if they don’t, they all have lives too. There may come a time when even the team cannot keep up with all of the tasks that need to get done.
Don’t be afraid to argument your team with a ringer! If no one on the team is qualified to do the financial stuff, hire an accountant. If legal paperwork is not yet done – hire an elder law attorney. If you just need a break, hire a respite worker.
What Does Your Dream Team Look Life?
Do you have a team that already helps you take care of your caree? Tell us how you set it up. Do you have any tips for others caregivers who are creating a team right now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.