Meet the Team: Brittany Taralson
When you call Tandem Careplanning to talk about your loved one’s caregiving needs, there is a good chance that you are going to talk with Brittany Taralson. As one of Tandem’s Senior Care Specialists and Department Supervisor, Brittany handles a variety of day-to-day calls from clients. From intake needs and assessments, to crisis management, to troubleshooting issues with clients and potential clients, Brittany is Tandem’s first line of support.
With a background in behavioral health and addiction counseling, Brittany loves having the opportunity to continue making a positive impact on people’s lives through her work with Tandem. While she appreciates being able to help clients who are in need of in-home care, she also enjoys being able to provide more clarity for those who are unsure about whether or not their loved one needs care. If you’re on the fence about your loved one’s careplanning needs, Brittany has a few tips to help you get started:
Think About Why You’re Calling In The First Place
Brittany has found that there are three different types of phone calls that she receives: those with an immediate need for in-home care, family caregivers trying to do research, and people who have no idea what they want or need when it comes to care.
“When people don’t know what they need, I start by having them explain what made them pick up the phone to make the call in the first place,” says Brittany. “It really helps to create a foundation that we can build upon. Some are in denial and end up calling back once a crisis happens, but others are ready to move forward with some hand-holding, and I’ll work with them to set up their online profile.”
Brittany has found that many of the family caregivers acknowledge that their loved one needs help, but they want to continue to provide care on their own. To make sure that they are comfortable with some of the less glamorous aspects of caring for an aging loved one, Brittany goes through the following list with them:
- Bathing Needs. “I always ask if they would feel comfortable dealing with their loved one’s bathing or toilet routine. These are not always tasks that a family member wants to take on for a loved one,” says Brittany. “It’s important to be honest about your own boundaries for what you can handle in terms of your loved one’s care.”
- Time Issues. “Many adult children of aging parents are not only working full-time jobs, but they are also often caring for their own children, and there’s only so much time in a day,” Brittany says. “Again, you need to make an honest assessment of how much you can handle given your current load.”
- Transportation Needs. “If a family caregiver tells me that their aging parent just stopped driving or needs to stop driving, that’s a tell-tale sign that they would benefit from in-home care services,” says Brittany. “A caregiver would be able to take them to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, and run various errands with them. For family caregivers who work, this is a huge weight off their shoulders.”
- Special Health Needs. “For those who are showing signs of memory loss or dementia, are bed-bound, or incontinent, part-time care from a family member probably isn’t enough to ensure that the elder loved one remains healthy,” Brittany says. “A specialized caregiver can also help with medication management and make sure that your loved one is remaining compliant with their meds.”
In many cases, Brittany will simply recommend companion care 4-hours per day, several days a week. Companion care is ideal for situations where the family caregiver is physically or emotionally unable to provide as much care as they’d like, and want some peace of mind about their aging parent’s health and well being.
You Can Trust Tandem Careplanning
While many companies boast that they are the best at what they do, at Tandem Careplanning, we put a lot of time and effort into putting our money where our mouth is.
“We have an intense vetting process for caregivers, so our clients can trust that anyone we send to care for them is the best at what they do,” Brittany says. “We provide training for all of our caregivers and make sure that they are up-to-date and compliant with all of their care requirements.”
Additionally, Tandem ensures that both parties--the caregiver and the client--are in complete compliance with the necessary employment laws.
“We handle the logistics so you don’t have to,” Brittany says. “The whole process allows both the client and the caregiver to have greater control over the situation and that is really empowering.”
Brittany’s final piece of advice is to start planning for care now, before you might actually think that you need it.
“Be proactive about your loved one’s care and make a plan before a crisis happens,” Brittany suggests. “It will allow you to make better decisions and keep everyone happier, longer.”
So, what are you waiting for? Call us today at 1-800-370-3377 and ask to talk to Brittany to get started on your loved one’s Care Plan.