Provide Care for Others

10 Action Items for Caregivers

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Caregiving Tips

Caring for a loved one? Here are helpful tips so you know what to expect— and how to get the best outcomes possible for everyone.

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4 out of 10 U.S. adults are now caring for a sick or elderly family member.
10% increase in number of caregivers between 2010 and 2013.
Most caregivers spend an average of 20 hours per week caring for family, friend or neighbor.
36% of U.S. adults said they provided unpaid care to an adult relative.

Caregivers give so much to help care for family members and friends. The following are 10 considerations for caregivers to help make their jobs just a little bit easier.

  1. Communication: Talk openly with your loved one about how they would like to be cared for, particularly if you have the legal power and responsibility to make the decisions.
  2. Family: Sit down with siblings and extended family to discuss how everyone can contribute on your caregiving journey. Confirm next steps.
  3. Employment: Consider all your options before leaving a job to care for a loved one. What will you do for benefits? Can you go part-time?
  4. Finances: How might your financial future be affected by caring for a loved one? Assess your costs/spending and create a budget.
  5. Legal counsel: Consult with an attorney for more complex issues related to estate planning, such as a will, a trust and powers of attorney.
  6. Support: Look into a geriatric-care manager if your loved one requires additional support and medical attention.
  7. Medical: Keep current records of all medications, doctors and medical history. Be mindful of drug interactions if your loved one takes several medications.
  8. Benefits: Explore free or low-cost government benefits that provide support with caregiver tasks. Understand your loved one's Medicaid and Medicare coverage.
  9. Housing: Think about relocating your loved one to move in with you or live closer. Knowing friends, neighbors and people in their area is important to their well-being.
  10. Self-Care: To be the most help to your loved one, eat well, make sleep a priority and take time off to do the things you most enjoy.
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