Caregiving 101


Caregiving 101

Welcome to Caregiving 101, your resource for making sense of your new caregiving responsibilities. You may be wondering: what is a caregiver? And where do I start? Or maybe you're just curious about how to help a caregiver in your life. Either way, Caregiving 101 has all the information you need on becoming a caregiver for a family member. The most common reasons why people become caregivers for family and friends include: an unexpected medical event or crisis, helping someone manage a chronic condition, and supporting aging parents who either need a little help with daily activities or can no longer live independently. Whatever circumstances have brought you to becoming a caregiver, you are inevitably making new and stressful decisions about another person's care and health. You are also interacting with systems that may be unfamiliar and intimidating to you, like hospitals and long-term care facilities. We offer several guides to common caregiving definitions to help you make sense of the deluge of terms and paperwork you may be experiencing if you're new to caregiving. One of the most important steps you can take when you begin to take care of someone else is to stay organized. Your list of caregiver duties can include scheduling doctors appointments, making sure medication is being taken as directed, taking your loved one to and from appointments and activities, and so much more. Templates, like our caregiver binder, and lists created by caregivers like you can help you plan and prepare for care and can be recreated for your own use. In the early stages of caregiving, you may also have questions about the financial impacts of caregiving. Our Financial and Legal section has more information on financing and funding care, but you will find answers to some of your most basic questions about caregiver financial support including whether or not family members can get paid to be a caregiver and how much it costs to hire a caregiver in Caregiving 101.