Research may not seem like an urgent priority when you’re dealing with day-to-day
caregiving demands, but it’s a good idea to make time for it. The more you learn about
your loved one’s condition, financial and legal issues related to caregiving, and the
most useful resources available to you, the better off you’ll be when a crisis arises.
Research is a good task to ask others to help with.
Use our planning tools to make positive and persistent changes in your caregiving situation.
Start by educating yourself about your loved one’s medical conditions and treatment options.
You’ll gain confidence, give yourself the ability to question doctors, and worry less. Learn
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Locate the local chapter of the foundation or association related to your loved one’s
condition or diagnosis to learn more about its services. Here is a list of many well-known
that support those with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their caregivers.
Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs)
coordinate and offer services that help older adults. AAAs provide information and referrals
to community meal programs, government financial programs, home assistance, and other
services that can help people live as independently as possible. Find out if there is an
Aging and Disability Resource Center
in your area. There are currently only 42 in the country, but the number is expected to grow.
Their purpose is to help individuals and families make more informed decisions.
It is also important to learn all you can about the basics of complicated topics such as
Medicare and Medicaid,
and planning and paying for long term care.
While it may take some time, understanding how to work most effectively with your loved one’s
doctors, hospital and insurance company can mitigate frustration in dealing with these
entities. Each has its own “rules of the game” but with a little research you’ll be able to
navigate the system while minimizing your frustration.
Finally, your research may require learning new skills if you need to provide hands-on care
with your loved one. Many
offer caregiver training classes such as the Red Cross, Easter Seals, community or senior
centers, and even local hospitals and clinics. In fact, Easter Seals sells a video on how to
properly assist loved ones with activities of daily living (e.g., bathing, transferring,
dressing, managing medications, etc.). Time spent learning this could protect both you and
your loved one from injury.
Content shown was developed in collaboration between AGIS and National Family Caregivers Association.