by Shirley A. Weis

Happy New Year!  It is time to update your company’s business plan and time to review your plans for managing your family’s health and wellbeing.   You are the CEO of your family and can apply your management expertise and business techniques to this important aspect of life.

Here are Ten Tips for Managing Your Family’s Health and Wellbeing

#1     NO ONE cares about you and your family as much as you do.  No one knows your family members as well as you do.   Be tenacious about demanding the best care for them.   Trust you instincts if you feel something is not quite right.

#2    Be the Boss.  You are in charge of your family’s health care and need to be engaged.  You get to decide who, what, where, when and how healthcare services are provided to you and your family members.  Ask questions.  Expect answers whenever seeking care for your loved ones.

#3    Make Plans.   Arrange for everyone in your family to have routine physical examinations and to receive all the recommended immunizations.    Know the phone numbers for the nearest Emergency Department, ambulance service and poison control center.   Take CPR and First Aid Classes so you are prepared to handle emergencies that may occur.

#4    Get Organized.     Keep detailed records for each family member.   Research and understand the community health care resources available to you.  Be sure you understand the benefits that are covered by your insurance plan.

#5    Provide Leadership.   Model good nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress reduction and safety habits for your family members.   Take care of yourself and let everyone know how important good health is for a long and fulfilling life.

#6    Control and Monitor.   Monitor your family members’ physical and mental health.   Research any chronic health issues on the web, discuss them with care providers and become an expert in the management of the condition.   Be sure family members take medications as directed, seek follow up care as needed and understand the importance of routine preventive care.

#7    Evaluate.  Research and choose care providers carefully.   Review ratings and other information about care providers and healthcare facilities on the web through government and other sites.   Ask friends and family for their feedback about their caregivers.

#8     Assess and Manage the “Unmentionables.”    Medical concerns are just the tip of the iceberg for your family’s overall wellbeing.   Assess how family members are dealing with financial concerns, job stress, housing issues, use of drugs and alcohol, sleep habits and psychological concerns (do they feel “sad” or “worried”?).     Seek help from professionals if needed.

#9    Develop Buffers.  We live in a fast paced, stressful world.  Each family member needs to develop ways to deal with stress such as exercise, spirituality or other techniques to find peace.   Build in time each day for relaxation and activities that allow loved ones to have some “downtime.”

#10   Build Bridges and a Support Network.  Everyone in the family needs to have a network of peers and supporters.  If a family member is dealing with a chronic illness, join a patient support group.  Learn about community resources that can provide a safety net for you and your family during difficult times.

Managing your family’s health and wellbeing is serious business.  Take time to develop your plan today.

 

Shirley Weis is Special Advisor to the President and Professor of Practice in the W. P. Carey School of Business and the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University.  She is also President of Weis Associates, LLC, a national management and leadership consulting firm.  

Ms. Weis recently retired from her role as Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.  Her work involved overseeing 60,000 employees and coordinating overall institutional strategy and operation of Mayo Clinic’s $9 billion healthcare system.  Mayo treats more than a million patients a year from around the world.

Ms. Weis’ new book “Playing to Win in Business (Just Respect for Women) (Volume 1)” is available at Amazon.com