• Caregiving demands often intensify over time. Take a few important steps now to prepare for future caregiving challenges.
  • Reach out to family, friends, and neighbors to start building a caregiving team.
  • Talk to your family and friends, gather legal and financial records, and educate yourself about available resources.

Successful caregiving starts with identifying yourself as a caregiver. By acknowledging that you’ve taken on this important and demanding new role, you begin taking charge of your caregiving situation.

Next Step

Learn how to handle the intense emotions caregiving often brings.

Learn more

Whether you’ve become a caregiver suddenly and unexpectedly or you’ve some time to prepare, laying a stable groundwork will make future challenges much more manageable. Here’s how to prepare:

  • Start talking with your loved one about his or her wishes for future treatment and care. Discuss the situation with your family and reach an understanding about what each member can do to help.
  • Build your care team. Reach out to friends and neighbors. Have conversations about what you might need in the future.
  • Gather records. Find and collect in one place all of your loved one’s financial records, as well as any legal documents such as powers of attorneys and advance directives.
  • Start educating yourself about your loved one’s condition, Medicare and Medicaid, available community resources, and other relevant concerns. For links to local programs, contact your local Area Agency on Aging by searching our government agency listings.
  • Familiarize yourself with local services such as home care providers, geriatric care managers, adult day care programs, and other service providers you might eventually call upon. Start by searching our listings of facilities and services.
  • Create a list of emergency contacts with all of your contact information, as well as that of doctors, services, neighbors, friends, and family who are involved in your loved one’s care. Keep copies prominently displayed at home and at work.

Content shown was developed in collaboration between AGIS and National Family Caregivers Association.

Family CareGroups

Learn more and purchase this book by Suzanne Mintz, President and Cofounder of the National Family Caregivers Association.

It’s filled with important and useful suggestions for family caregivers from a family caregiver herself.

Read More


Support fellow caregivers nationwide by donating to NFCA assisting them with reaching out to educate, support and speak up for family caregivers.

Donate to NFCA

Tools for Planning

Use the following tools to get yourself organized and prepared for caregiving.

Goal Setting

Personal SWOT Analysis

Tasks, Worries, & Attitudes

Learn More

Family CareGroups

Caregiving gets easier when family and friends pitch in. Family CareGroups give you simple tools to organize tasks and keep everyone coordinated.

Start your group

Community Forums

Visit the forums to learn from other family caregivers like you, and share your experiences with others.

Visit Forums



Caregiving Emotions & Stress
Stress and depression are common among caregivers. How do you cope?