Tips and Resources for Caregivers
These tips and resources can serve as a reminder or a starting point for caregivers. It covers medical, legal and financial issues associated with caregiving.
- Learn as much as you can about the disease and caregiving techniques specifically helpful in coping with the disease.
- Helpful Caregiving Resources:
- The ACTS 2 Project provides support to African-American Alzheimer’s caregivers. Through our FREE caregiving support sessions you will learn the essential skills needed to support your loved ones. In addition, ACTS 2 will provide FREE telephone-based training and support sessions when you need them. .
- Family Caregiver Alliance - Offers programs at national, state and local levels to support and sustain caregivers.
- Caregiver Magazine – A product of Caregiver Media Group, this site includes topic specific newsletters, online discussion lists, back issue articles of Today's Caregiver magazine, chat rooms and an online store.
- Administration on Aging (National) Provides a wealth of information related to aging and caregiving.
- Aging Parents and Elder Care Advice, comprehensive checklists, and links to key resources
- National Institutes on Aging - Caregiver tips related to health, safety and support.
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resources:
- Additional articles and resource lists that may be helpful to you as a caregiver can be accessed through the Area Agency on Aging for Pasco-Pinellas.
- Discussion with the physician regarding what is happening and what to expect.
- Talk to your loved one’s doctor about potential referrals to physicians (i.e. neurologist, psychiatrist, or geriatrician) knowledgeable about their condition.
- Know the patient’s medical history, medications, and dosages.
- Regular medical checkups.
- Identify / attend local support group meetings
- Attend caregiver training (provided in Leon and surrounding counties by the Alzheimer’s Project, Inc.
- Develop knowledge of community resources.
- Develop caregiving plans, including alternate plans for the care of the patient in the event of your illness.
- Determine what you are emotionally / physically able to do. Arrange for additional assistance through family, volunteers, respite care (home health care, adult day care or short-term respite care in a facility).
- Making the home safe for the patient is called accident-proofing.
- Schedule regular medical care for yourself, reporting any changes in health to your physician.
- Determine if the patient needs assistance to manage his or her legal/financial affairs.
- Consult an Elder Law Attorney knowledgeable in issues such as Medicaid, Medicare, Guardianships, Estate Planning, Trusts and Advanced Directives. (The Florida Bar at 1-800-342-8060 can give you a list of Elder Law Attorneys).
- Contact attorney for advice regarding:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Health Care Surrogate Power of Attorney
- Living Will
- If documents have been prepared previously, know location and check that they are up to date with current state laws.
- Helpful Legal Resources:
- Someone should assume the responsibility for:
- Checking Account (Bill Payments)
- Savings Account
- Other Assets (Money Market, Stocks, Bonds, CDs)
- Real Estate and other property (location of deeds)
- Safety Deposit Box- - Co-signer for box access (location of box and keys)
- Security Box or home safe (location of keys or combination)
- Review and determine the location of all insurance policies (Medical, Disability, House, Car, Long Term Care, Life Insurance, VA).
- Check for Waiver of Premium Clause on insurance policies.
- Investigate patient’s eligibility for financial assistance programs.
- Determine the amount and source of all monthly income. Are any checks sent direct deposit?
- If the patient is receiving Social Security, do you want to be designated as the Representative Payee?
- Helpful Financial/Insurance Related Resources:
- Know previously made arrangements for cemetery lot, funeral, etc.
- Are wishes known regarding burial/cremation?
- Autopsy arrangements
- Driving: You must judge when the patient can no longer safely operate a motor vehicle.
- ID bracelet/system for Alzheimer’s Disease patient, particularly if wandering becomes a problem.
- Project Lifesaver International The reliable, rapid-response collaborative partnership between law-enforcement and social service agencies aiding victims and families suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, related dementias, and other disorders such as Down’s Syndrome and Autism.
- Alzheimer’s Project, Inc. – Local Project Lifesaver service provider.