Creating a Care Plan For Your Senior Mother or Father

If you are the adult child of a senior parent, you may be on the brink of assuming the role of caregiver for your mother or father. One of the first steps to be taken as a caregiver for an aging parent is to create and implement a care plan for your senior mother or father. In this article, we provide you with the essential elements associated with creating and implementing a care plan for your senior parent.

What Is a Care Plan?

In basic terms, a care plan is a written strategy that caregivers and other long-term care providers use to coordinate caregiving responsibilities in light of a senior’s needs and preferences. Such a plan is intended to ensure that a person receives assistance in a timely and proper manner consistently.

Once a care plan is created, a family caregiver can efficiently and effectively organize duties and focus on completing various tasks needed to ensure proper care of the recipient of assistance. A senior’s care plan should be reviewed regularly. A care plan must be updated to ensure all new and increasing needs are addressed. This review process improves their quality of care. Regular review decreases the likelihood of any mishaps in providing care and assistance. Furthermore, care planning allows others to participate in a loved one’s care as seamlessly as possible. It also makes it easier for a primary family caregiver to arrange respite time.

How to Build a Care Plan for a Senior

With regularity, family members tend to wonder when the right time to become involved in an aging loved one’s daily life and care has arrived. A common situation is when adult children discuss their parents’ health and living situation amongst themselves until an unforeseen event causes them to act.

With that duly noted, there are better ways to broach the subject of care and assistance with an aging parent than leaving things until the proverbial last minute. It is important to note that going into caregiving blindly and without a strategy is strongly discouraged. It is not recommended to dive into assisting an aging parent without a care plan. Despite this reality, adult children, time and again, are situated as caregivers for their senior parents without a plan of any kind in place.

When it comes to a bona fide care plan, support and assistance can come in the form of a care team. Such a care team often includes family members, close friends, neighbors, and whomever the primary caregiver trusts to pitch in. However, to keep initial care planning discussions from becoming too overwhelming, it is best to limit participation to immediate family members.

In developing a care plan for a family caregiver, it is best to tackle the subject of long-term care as early as possible. Taking this approach is wise to get a complete understanding of your loved one’s current situation and future needs and preferences. As noted, wisdom suggests keeping a care team limited in size initially. You can always add more team members if needed as time moves onward.

Enhance a Care Plan With Professional Assistance

If you are to become the caregiver for your aging mother, father, or other loved one, you can enhance a care plan by adding professional assistance to the care team.

Professional support can assist smaller families and individuals who do not have a large natural set of available family members and others to fill out a team. Elder care professionals and long-term care services can be especially useful throughout your caregiving journey. For your consideration, various options to supplement your care, senior parent’s care team with professionals, are presented here.

In-Home Care Service or In-Home Care Aide

In-home care services, in-home care aides, or in-home care companies assist with providing professional caregiving support to tend to various activities of daily living as needed. This can include housekeeping, grooming, transportation, medication management, and so forth.

Adult Daycare

Adult daycare centers provide assistance to a caregiver and the recipient of care in several different ways. These include:

  • Giving a caregiver an opportunity to a break from caregiving, knowing that the recipient of care will be safe and well-tended to at an adult day care center.
  • Providing seniors an opportunity to engage in socialization with others.
  • Specialized daycare centers or programs. For example, there are adult daycare centers designed for seniors with memory issues, cognitive deficits, or even dementia.

Geriatric Care Managers

Geriatric care managers, also known as aging life care professionals, typically are licensed or certified nurses, social workers, or other experts in the elder care industry.

These professionals’ tasks include conducting extensive research on all resources available to your senior loved one. These professionals also assist in the coordination of benefits and care. They also assist team members with long-term care planning and difficult care decisions.

Elder Law Attorneys

Attorneys’ practice in the elder law arena specializes in aging issues. These include long-term care planning, advance care planning, and estate planning. An elder law attorney can assist with wills, trusts, powers of attorney, guardianships, and many other legal matters of importance to women and men in their Golden Years.

Financial Planners

Financial planners can be of particular assistance to seniors when it comes to developing ways to pay for such things as long-term care (when the time comes for such services). A financial planner can also assist with other matters, that include the following:

  • General retirement planning
  • Investment strategies
  • Tax issues


Your aging parent’s primary care physician should be part of a care team. The care team might include other medical professionals like a dentist, ophthalmologist, or other medical specialists that your aging parent might require for healthcare assistance.

In closing, and as mentioned previously, remember that once a care plan is in place, it will continue to develop and evolve as you, your aging parent, and other care team members deem necessary. Do also keep in mind that regular reviews of an established care plan are vital.