Step 3:  Assign volunteers to practical brigades & set up calendar

The scheduler enters the returned wish list replies into a spread sheet with volunteers’ emails and phone numbers, what folks volunteered to do and any limitations on their availability. Next, before people are actually assigned tasks, especially before the CarePartner and/or Caregiver assigns ANY volunteers to directly interact with the patient, the patient reviews the spread sheet and assigns a numerical level of ACCESS to each volunteer, with 1 being the inner circle and 5 being people the patient doesn't want direct contact with at all. This indicates whom the patient wants and doesn't want close up, to ensure that s/he remains the leader of the CareBrigade team even as s/he loses power in some other domains as treatment progresses.

The patient chooses which close friends s/he prefers to do any intimate tasks needed during recovery (e.g. personal care, wound care, and close-up fun/social visits with the patient). by assigning each #1 ACCESS. The Patient should review invitations for any social or respite care event prior to folks being invited to make sure only #1 ACCESS folks are invited and to be sure the #1 rating is still in place. If the patient is well enough, s/he can invite their dear friends themselves. The patient should assign #5 to any person they want NO personal contact with, during the execution of any task. If #5 people insist on volunteering, ask them to pray for the patient, likely that would be good for everyone concerned..

#2, 3, 4 ACCESS levels help the patient choose how close s/he wants to get to certain volunteers or people s/he doesn't know. Plenty of tasks require no ACCESS to the patient, so don't eliminate people, assign strategically. Bringing the trash cans and the newspaper in from the street, shoveling snow and raking leaves, taking the car in for services, are great jobs for #4.

The CarePartner, the live-in caregiver if there is one, and the scheduler use the spreadsheet of volunteer responses and/or a calendar to assign people to tasks/Brigades according to volunteer’s schedule and preferences. CarePartner, live-in caregiver, and/or brigade coordinator contacts and confirms each assignment with each volunteer in the beginning (via phone, email, text  however the volunteer likes to be contacted).  Each then should share specifically with their volunteers how to communicate (text, phone) and with whom (CarePartner, caregiver, patient), if changes need to be made.    

  • Typical Practical Brigades are :
    • Daily Bread Brigade (meal delivery, help with food shopping, feeding support, etc,)
    • Transport Brigade (drivers for doctor visits, errands, pick up folks at airport and kids from school, runs to pharmacy, etc.)
    • Household Brigade (trash, walk dog, repairs, lawn care, laundry, cleaning help, etc.) 
    • Social Fun Brigade (dinner/fun visits with good friends/personal care/respite care for caregiver.)  Note: If the patient is well enough to decide, invitations to serve on this brigade should be made directly by the patient. Otherwise only people to whom the patient assigned #1 ACCESS can be considered part of the patient's social brigade. If able, the patient should review the social event invitation list every time and call and invite the people they love themselves. If the patient chooses to expand the group, new people need to be added to the #1 Patient Access list. 

Either the CarePartner, live-in caregiver, and/or patient (who lives alone) can create a brigade schedule, to make execution and management as simple and effortless as possible for the patient, volunteers and CareGivers over time. For example: Lawn care can be scheduled every Wednesday (with a note to volunteer as to where tools are located, with any specific requests for this week  posted); neighbors take out trash every Monday; 3 freezable meals for 4, to be delivered every Sundays evening, next door neighbor ( with key) walks dog daily at 8 am, 3 pm and 9 pm . 

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