There are many challenges and decisions to make as you start the journey of being a caregiver for a family member. From creating a care plan to the stress of medical payments to the decisions about quality of life, the adjustment of becoming a caregiver can be further complicated as you try to understand Medicare coverage. Here are four steps to success for new Medicare family caregivers.
Plan Care with Your Loved One
When the time comes in which you must start taking more control over your loved one’s life and medical decisions, you’ll want to have an honest conversation with them about their care plan moving forward. Consider the following tips to help create a productive conversation:
- Choose a quiet setting and plan for the conversation
- Clarify your loved one’s wants and needs without being critical
- Keep the conversation focused on how you can best support your loved one
- Share your wish to help manage their care
Research and Sign Up for Helpful Medicare Services
There are many services and resources available for Medicare beneficiaries that are not only helpful for them, but also for you as a caregiver. Population Health is a free membership service that can connect you to the available healthcare benefits in your area. These membership benefits include:
- Prescription drug savings and management
- Meal delivery programs
- Pharmacy support
- Free rides to doctor’s appointments
- Scheduling appointments, in-office and at-home
- Connecting you to primary care physicians
- Monitoring chronic conditions
- Mental health and wellness programs
Create a Medication Management Plan
Having a medication management plan is important to ensure medications are taken properly and are working to improve your loved one’s health. It can be as simple as keeping an updated list of medications and dosage information, along with a weekly or monthly pill organizer. When you stay on top of your loved one’s medications alongside a healthcare team, you reduce the risk of medication-related problems resulting in better health outcomes.
Exercise Self-Care Regularly
- Create a support system: Having other family members there to help in caregiving and decision making will lessen the stress on you. Being a caregiver is hard, and having a support system in place is great for expressing concerns and making decisions.
- Consider joining a support group: Consider joining a caregiver support group as soon as you can. Support groups are a great way to express concerns but also to exchange tips and advice.
- Celebrate accomplishments and positive impacts: Being a caregiver is often a thankless job, but it makes all the difference in the well-being and quality of life of your loved one.
An easy way to get connected to available Medicare resources is through a Population Health membership. It’s a free service that connects Medicare beneficiaries to the available healthcare benefits in their area. Learn more about becoming a member today at 1-XXX-XXX-XXXX.