Caring for an aging parent can be a challenging, albeit rewarding experience. It’s a part of life that many of us never think about until the time comes, but that most of us will experience in some sense over the course of our lives.
One of the biggest keys to becoming a successful caregiver—whether caring full time or managing care remotely—is communication and organization. This is where a shared calendar comes into play.
The ability to organize and coordinate with others, perhaps a sibling or a paid caregiver, in order to ensure that your parent is receiving the care and support they need is critical to both your own success and your parent’s health and well-being.
One easy way to stay organized is by using a shared calendar that includes important tasks and appointments. Providing a simple place to keep everyone on the same page at all times means that appointments, bills, and tasks around the home won’t be forgotten.
While there are a number of calendar options available on your phone or computer, WayWiser is one of the top picks for caregivers as it works as part of an all-inclusive caregiving solution. Not only can you share calendar events with others on your caregiving team, but you can also share notes and lists, communicate within a private activity feed, and even securely store documents like medical bills, powers of attorney, or identification cards.
Once you’ve gotten yourself set up with a shared calendar system, here are eight things to consider while getting started:
1. Medical Appointments
It is crucial to keep track of any medical appointments your parent has, including visits to the doctor, specialist appointments, and any necessary tests or procedures. Make sure to also note any follow-up appointments or recommendations from their healthcare provider.
2. Medication Schedules
Ensuring that your parent takes their medication as prescribed is essential to their overall health and well-being. Keep track of when they need to take their medication and any refills that may be needed. It may also be helpful to set reminders for yourself or other caregivers to administer the medication. For more tips on medication management, you can peruse this article on that very topic.
3. Grocery Shopping and Errands
Your parent may need assistance with grocery shopping and other errands, such as picking up prescriptions or running household errands. Coordinate with your siblings and other caregivers to ensure that these tasks are being taken care of and that your mom or dad has everything they need.
4. Social Activities and Events
It is important for your parent to maintain a sense of social connection and purpose, so consider scheduling activities or events that they can participate in and enjoy. These could include visits with friends and family, attending social events or clubs, or participating in hobbies or activities they enjoy. Looking for some hobbies to help them get out of their shell? Consider this extensive list of hobbies for adults that can be started at any time.
5. Personal Care Tasks
Caring for an aging parent often involves assisting with personal care tasks such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. Coordinate with your siblings and other caregivers to ensure that these tasks are being taken care of in a timely and respectful manner.
6. Housekeeping and Maintenance Tasks
There may be various housekeeping and maintenance tasks that need to be completed around the home, such as yard work, cleaning, and repairs. Keep track of these tasks on your shared calendar and coordinate with your siblings and other caregivers to ensure that they are being taken care of.
If your parent is unable to drive, it is important to coordinate transportation for them to appointments, errands, and social activities. Keep track of when transportation is needed on your shared calendar and make sure that there is a reliable plan in place.
8. Financial Obligations
Caring for an aging parent often involves managing their financial affairs, including paying bills, managing investments, and coordinating with any professional advisors or financial institutions. Keep track of important financial tasks and deadlines on your shared calendar and make sure that these obligations are being taken care of.
Concluding Thoughts on Shared Calendars
By keeping track of important items on a shared calendar, like the one developed by WayWiser, you and your siblings and any paid caregivers can ensure that your parent’s needs are being met and that they are receiving the care and support they need.
When you’re already busy with your own life and perhaps the lives of your children, remembering everything that needs to be accomplished for your parent can be nearly impossible. Don’t rely on scratch pads and text messages. Take the time to enter everything onto a shared calendar and be sure that nothing is missed.