2. Organization. There are so many moving parts in a caregiving plan, it's tough to keep it organized. As an advocate, you'll need to manage caregiving team members, make task lists and organize the mounds of paperwork associated with health care, legal and financial matters. You'll want to make sure you can easily access all legal documents (such as power of attorney for finances and health care) when you need them.
How to get better at it: If getting or staying organized is a challenge for you, consider taking an organizing course, or hire a professional organizer to help you. Ask family members or friends to assist. Technology can help, too, including these caregiver-organizing apps.
3. Communication. This is a key skill for building relationships with those who help care for your loved ones (from family members to lawyers, doctors and more). Many people are a bit intimidated by certain topics, such as legal or financial matters. That can make some discussions tough.
How to get better at it: Be respectful, and try to set emotions aside when you are advocating for a loved one. And remember that listening is just as important as speaking in effective communication. Be clear, concise and get to the point. Express appreciation.
4. Questioning. My dad, a former professor, used to have a sign in his office that read, "Question everything." Now Dad is 93 and has Alzheimer's disease, and as I advocate for him, I often think of that message. My family's doctors and service providers will attest that I ask plenty of questions! I try to be prepared so I don't waste their time, but it's my job to gather information, and I'm not shy about it.