MyODP News Online

Supporting Caregivers

An image of the lifecourse wheelIt is important to take the time to check in with caregivers who are experiencing changes to theirs and their loved one's daily lives. For those of us who support individuals where a caregiver is actively involved, you may be the one person asking them: How are you? How can we be helpful? What do we need to know about the changes that have occurred and how they are affecting yours and your loved ones' life?

Beyond just checking in, you may want to see if caregivers need support or training to help their loved one navigate this potentially difficult time. Here is a list of tips that might be helpful to share with the caregivers:

  • Create a family schedule that may include:
    • Time for everyone to get a break/alone time
    • Scheduled access to preferred items when there are limitations such as computers, tablets, TV’s or game consoles
    • A strategic mix of preferred and non-preferred activities
    • Charting the LifeCourse Tool: Integrated Long Term Support Needs Template is a resource that could be helpful when creating a schedule that incorporates different types of support.
  • Make sure everyone has connection to support outside the home:
    • Use remote supports to help provide access to assistance
    • Adjust typical support schedule to accommodate everyone's needs or break times
    • Consider joining online support groups
    • Charting the LifeCourse Tools: Integrated support Star Worksheet and Integrated Support Options are resources that help individuals explore and identify the different types of supports that are available to them and can be used when needed.
    • Links to some Family and Caregiver supports are available here:
  • Encourage caregivers to self-assess and reach out for support when needed:
    • Find some time to check in with everyone else in the home to see what they need, what is and is not working each day
    • Reach out and ask for resources you may need
    • Charting the LifeCourse Tool:  Tools for Exploring Decision Making Supports helps individuals recognize the type or level of support that they may need within different areas of their lives.

Each of the LifeCourse tools listed above can be found here.

Are there other strategies or recommendations that have been effective for the participants you support? If so, let us know! Please send any suggestions or  questions related to this email or requests for additional resources to RA-basprovidersupprt@pa.gov