The CareBrigade Team is made up of every CareBrigade member who responds to the wish list outreach request, volunteers to help with ordinary life tasks that the patient cannot fulfill, during bouts of extended or debilitating treatments, and/or surgical recovery. Brigade members are asked to only volunteer for tasks they like to do, that match their gifts and talents, would give them pleasure to do, and that fit into their schedules. The patient reviews the volunteers before assignments are finalized to determine the level of personal access each volunteer has to the patient. Level 1 is likely to include the patient's closest friends. Level 5 is the patient's request to not have any personal contact with the volunteer. 

Typical areas of support are :

  • Daily Bread Brigade (meal delivery, help with food shopping, etc,)
  • Transport Brigade (drivers for doctor visits, errands, pick up folks at airport/medical supplies.
  • Household Brigade (trash, walk dog, repairs, lawn care, cleaning, etc.) 
  • Social Fun Brigade (visits with friends/personal care/respite care for caregiver.)  Only Volunteers with Level 1 Access.

DAILY BREAD BRIGADE:

A team of volunteers providing the patient occasional or regular nutritional meals (depending on the family's requests), doing the family food shopping, and providing feeding support for invalids unable to feed themselves,  .

DAILY BREAD BRIGADE COORDINATOR:

This Brigade is likely to be large enough to warrant a coordinator if regular meals are requested on the wish list and the patient has a large community. Live-in caregivers are often the logical coordinators of meal delivery and food shopping volunteers.

DAILY BREAD BRIGADE COORDINATOR TASKS:

  • Works with patient, caregiver, and/or CarePartner to identify how frequently the patient will need meals, plus to establish and distribute a list of patient's restrictions/preferences ( allergies, dietary medical restrictions, vegan, no peanuts, etc.). 
  • Prepares and send an email listing the above restrictions/preferences to all Daily Bread Brigade volunteers. The names and contact information of a few of the patient’s favorite take-out restaurants with preferred meals, can also be included for non-cooks. 
  • Coordinates a specific day of the week for meal delivery, spaced in a way that serves the patient’s needs. Add any special packaging and size requests (freezable containers, feeds four, etc.).
  • Manages calendar for expected meals and makes substitutions if necessary.  Can serve as the primary phone contact for changes (unless the patient requests another arrangement).
  • Updates the Daily Bread Brigade volunteers, via email, to any dietary changes, as needed.
  • Helps patients who live alone to stock up with breakfasts and lunches.
  • Coordinates schedules with food shopping volunteers, and  feeders if necessary.

TRANSPORT BRIGADE:

A team of volunteers who insure the patient has transportation for medical visits and other driving tasks (airport pickups, kids to/from school, shopping, emergency errands, etc.).

TRANSPORT BRIGADE TASKS:

 Medical Drivers:

  • Drive to  doctor's visits (can be combined with SCRIBE).
  • Drive back and forth to medical procedure appointments like radiation or chemo. Might need to support patient getting in and out of the car, wait with patient. (Some hospitals provide drop-off service. ASK!)
  • Remind patient to use 911 for REAL medical emergencies.  

NOTE: These drivers will have lots of intimate contact with patient, so should ONLY be chosen and/or approved by the patient. 

Neighborly Drivers:  

  • Picks up visiting family/friends at airport/train. 
  • Runs emergency errands - ex. to pharmacy, medical equipment, or whatever the patient needs.
  • Shops for food and puts away groceries. 
  • Drops or picks up kids at school and sport practices, etc.
  • Takes car in for service, gets gas, or takes dog to vet,

NOTE: Involves little to no personal contact with Patient.

HOUSEHOLD BRIGADE:

A team of volunteers to help with household tasks such as: run the sweeper, wash up dirty dishes, water plants, empty trash/recycling, need something from the store, etc  Many of these tasks are ones that drop-in visitors can volunteer to do anytime.  Post a What Else Can I Do to Help? reminder list on the fridge for drop-in visitors to check in with and choose from.

HOUSEHOLD HELP TASKS

  • Pet Care: Walk the dog, feed the cat/dog, clean litter box.
  • Trash Duty: Take out the trash and recycling. Return trash cans from the street after pickup.
  • Gardening:  Water & care for plants. Mow the lawn,
  • Laundry: Wash it, dry it, fold it, put it away.
  • Kitchen Clean Up: Wash dishes in the sink, wipe down counters.
  • House: Pick up and tidy, dust, vacuum, change burned-out light bulbs, etc. 
  • Financial and Legal: Help with filing insurance forms and/or taxes; creating Health Care Power of Attorney, paying bills, etc.

PATIENT FUN/SOCIAL BRIGADE:

A invited group of carefully chosen friends (chosen by the patient) who visit with the patient, individually or as group,  providing loving, positive energy, fun and friendship. Friends can bring meals, games, or movies (whatever the patient likes to do) to share with the patient, and/or to provide once a week respite care for the live-in CareGiver.

FUN/SOCIAL BRIGADE COORDINATOR:

The patient ALONE chooses who is invited to be included as part of this special Brigade. The patient, the CarePartner, or live-in caregiver coordinate these visits with these folks.

NOTE: Only close positive, supportive friends should be chosen by the patient for these visits. Avoid any friend  who is “needy” and would spend the patient’s time telling their own sad stories or offer unwelcome advice. 

FUN/SOCIAL BRIGADE COORDINATOR TASKS:

  • Schedule, if the patient is up for it,  a once-a-week day/evening visit for patient with one or more close friends.
  • Choose positive people who can make for patient laugh and who are good listeners. 
  • Suggest activities the patient likes to do: Bring a favorite patient dinner, watch movie or favorite sports event, read to patient. 
  • Make sure the patient eats (if near meal time) and takes medicine during activities.
  • Help patient living alone by cleaning up, doing dishes, doing laundry. Ask what else the patient needs and wants done.
  • Support patient's personal care agenda: choose wigs, try on hats, get manicures, etc.
  • Combine social activity with a night out as respite care for an in-house caregiver .