Why Your Care Team Should Have a Mission Statement
The caregiving process can be a rabbit hole, especially at the beginning. When faced with the overwhelming learning curve of becoming a caregiver for a loved one, it's often difficult to know where to start. For the logistics of this process, we highly recommend you check out our post on building a care team. But one simple thing we have found enormously helpful in the caregiving process is to have a mission statement.
In our case, that mission is: "Happy and safe." It's simple but it truly describes what we hope that our actions as a Care Team are achieving for our Care Star. It's also a great way to vet our decisions. When we think about something new we're considering, or mull over whether one of the professional caregivers we've hired is the right fit, we go back to it. "Happy and safe." If we're meeting those goals, we're on the right track.
The beauty of a mission statement for your Care Team and Care Star is that it really unifies everyone around a single purpose. It also provides the opportunity for discussion. Perhaps you're not all on the same page about the goals for the Care Star. Figuring out a mission statement will quickly suss that information out and allow you to have a constructive discussion about it.
When you find that you're unable to meet your mission statement anymore, it can also be a sign that something needs to change. That may be the situation, or it may be that your mission statement needs a reality check as your Care Star's circumstances have changed. Perhaps it's no longer feasible for them to live on their own, so "Happy and safe" means that it's time to consider alternative living arrangements. And we've undergone a change in our own mission statement, from "As normal as possible" to "Happy and safe," when we realized that our Care Star simply had a new normal. We could keep her happy, we could keep her safe, but her normal life of complete independence was no longer feasible.
We encourage you, as a Care Captain or as a care team member, to take some time to think about your mission statement for caregiving. It can truly be a guiding light as you go through the process.