A Plan C? What on earth is a plan C?
If you are a family caregiver, you (intentionally or not) have a plan. It might be that you are the sole caregiver to your loved one. It might be that you have partnered with a home care company that is plan A and you are plan B. Regardless, having a back-up plan is extremely important you are the caregiver to someone living with a chronic condition.
As a home care company, we talk with families regarding their immediate needs and what their goals are in seeking care. This often includes planning for change as one ages or lives with a condition. If we do become their care partner, we are usually considered plan A.
We embrace being plan A and do everything in our power to fulfill that role. We hire the best of the best caregivers and train the one-on-one. W make live intros and have on-call should a family’s caregiver be unavailable due to illness or other of life’s eventualities. However, even as a professional home care company, hard as we try, always fulfilling as plan A can be impossible. And that represents a HUGE problem if a family has no pan B.
As mentioned in the beginning of this piece, most of our partner families serve as plan B should plan A fall through. But plan B is even more than just fill in. It needs to account for, and include the location of critical documents (legal and medical) that pertain to the care partner and their loved one. Why? What if a family has to go to plan C?
Enter COVID-19. So, the Johnson family has a homecare company as plan A. Mable Johnson (caring for Charlie Johnson) is plan B and she knows the whereabouts of his advance directives, will and powers of attorney, etc. But what happens in the case of a virus like Corona? What is Mable gets Corona virus and, as a result, the Johnson’s need to go into lock-down. No caregiver can come for fear of contracting the virus. Their prior caregiver also has to go into quarantine for two weeks on their end too. And even worse, what if Charlie’s needs surpass what Mable can do? Or if, God forbid, Mable ends up in the hospital? Who cares for Charlie then?
This might seem extreme…and perhaps it is. However, the risk is real. Having multiple plans to tackle eventualities is of dire importance. Life or death importance.
So, what is Plan C? Is it a caring neighbor that might step in? A distant family member that can drop everything and fly in to stay with Charlie? If so, does plan C know they are in cue to help? Do they know where all the critical documentation is? Who Charlie’s physicians are? Are they authorized to carryout care legally? And what are these documents? They include (but are not limited to):
- Birth certificate
- Advance Directives for Healthcare
- Power of Attorney for Finances
- Estate plans
- Property deeds
- Life insurance
- Final arrangements (burial policies, funeral wishes, cremation, etc.)
- Tax documents
In addition, many of the above are stored in banks and have passwords, etc. Where are the documents and what are all the passwords? What about passwords for your computers, hand held devices, etc.?
Compiling all these papers sounds like a daunting task, and if you haven’t organized them over the years, it may be. Since it’s tax time, you may be more organized than you realize. With social distancing required, you should have plenty of time now to get this done. Your family will ever be grateful that you loved them enough to make it easier to carry out your wishes and continue caring for your loved one. Organizing your “important papers” and telling others their location is a major part of Plan C.
If you need help figuring out who to call to consult on getting all this done, Call us. We are here to help…if we are not the answer, we will redirect you to someone who can help.
Lynn Ross, Geriatric Care Coordinator, Caring Companions of Atlanta