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Part I: Prepare for Your Role as Caregiver

Table of Contents

  1. Meet with Your Parents
  2. Learn About Community Resources
  3. Learn About Workplace Resources
  4. Review of Policies Checklist

The daughter who moves in with her mother to monitor her well-being; the daughter-in-law in New York who calls her elderly father-in-law in Ohio every Sunday; the son-in-law who drives his mother-in-law to the bank every month and gives her $25 to help out with her bills; the son who makes the decision to place his mother in a nursing home so that her needs are met; and the daughter who struggles to work and provide care for her ailing parents are all caregivers in various ways.

If you're the adult child of older parents, your caregiving role may gradually increase as your parents become frailer and less able to care for themselves. Or, you may be thrust into this role all at once in a crisis situation, such as a parent's sudden illness and/or hospitalization. You may find yourself providing the care directly or you may need to recruit and manage the care provided by others. Planning ahead can help smooth your transition to caregiver and ease the minds of older relatives.

Throughout the document, "parent" is used interchangably with elderly family members for ease of discussion.