As our nation ages, more of us will inevitably take on a caregiving role for our aging parent(s) or spouse, and locating the right resources at the right time can often be difficult.
Use these tips to prepare and be ready to help:
- Create a caregiving plan for yourself, your spouse or your aging parents. AARP’s Prepare to Care Guide can facilitate discussing and creating a plan by offering five concrete steps to get you started.
- Familiarize yourself with 12 Resources Every Caregiver Should Know About which includes contact information for agencies from the Alzheimer’s Association to the Veterans Administration.
- Contact your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) to receive assistance in identifying the specific resources you need. AAAs were established to respond to the needs of Americans 60 and over in every local community.
- Formulate the questions you need answered about benefits and insurance. You can learn about paying for care, locating benefits, and finding the best medical care through AARP’s Benefits & Insurance
- Find the right type of housing and assistance for your loved one. Caring.com provides a nationwide directory of senior-care providers that includes assisted living communities, independent living, and other residential care options. AARP also has an online tool for researching living options for your loved one.
Caregiving is among the most difficult and demanding jobs that can be required of us. Be proactive about preventing burnout by taking care of yourself while you take care of your loved one. Reach out to others and enlist their support. Take time to continue doing the things you love and take every opportunity to cultivate moments of connection.