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Caregiving Chronicles

News and analysis on caregiving topics in MetroWest and beyond.

Caregiving Chronicles


Caregiving Chronicles will present news and analysis on caregiving topics in MetroWest and around the world, in-depth Q&As with experts in fields related to caregiving and updates and announcements about caregiving resources available in MetroWest from Program Director Douglas Flynn.

Ideas for new caregivers. Where do you start?
By DebraMcDonagh / April 3, 2019

Caregiving is not easy. For some, the role comes upon them gradually, while others may be thrust into the role by an unexpected life-changing event. 

Regardless of the route that brought you into a caregiving role, it can be overwhelming. Because your primary role is to assist your loved one with the activities of daily living, finding time to organize this responsibility can often take a back seat. 

We did some research and here are tips that may help:

  • OPEN COMMUNICATION: Have an open and frank conversation with the person under your care. Unless they are severely incapacitated, they are most likely worried about becoming a burden to you. Discuss what care they feel they need and where they need your assistance most. Together you may be able to develop a schedule and a plan that helps them maintain a sense of independence while keeping you from feeling too overloaded. 
  • CREATE A SUPPORT NETWORK: Even if you are the primary caregiver for the person under your care, do not be shy about asking siblings, extended family such as cousins, or close friends of the family to share some of the responsibility. Tasks such as driving your loved one to the Doctor, dropping off groceries, helping with the laundry, etc., are items that will not take a lot of time on an individual basis, but as they come off of your "to-do list", they take a great deal of pressure off of you. 
  • HOLD FAMILY MEETINGS: With multiparty phone calls and virtual communication apps so easy to use these days, set up group meetings with everyone who provides any level of support. Treat this meeting as you would a professional one. Have an agenda listing the topics for discussion distributed ahead of time, set time limits for speaking, set a no "cross-talk" rule, and end the meeting with actionable items that are clearly assigned to each person. 

These are just a few ideas that were inspired by a great article by AARP article that expands on the above and continues on to identify several items that should be included in your caregiving plan. 

You can access the article by clicking here

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BayPath Elder Services, Inc

The BayPath Family Caregiver Support Program and has been made possible by funding from the Older Americans Act as granted by Executive Office of Elder Affairs. Participants may make a voluntary donation toward the cost of this federally funded service. Click here for more information. was originally made possible, in part, by generous grants from the MetroWest Health Foundation. Additional funding support was graciously donated by Avidia Bank from 2018 – 2021.

Thank you, MetroWest Health Foundation and Avidia Bank, for enabling BayPath Elder Services to provide support and resources to family caregivers.