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Preparing to Care for an Aging Loved One   arrow

By: Sue Schneider, Family & Consumer Sciences and Community Development Agent

As our nation ages, more of us will inevitably take on a caregiving role for our aging parent(s). Locating the right resources at the right time can often be difficult. Use these tips to help you get started:

  • Create a caregiving plan for yourself or an aging parent. AARP’s Prepare to Care Guide can help you and your family members discuss and create 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. provides a nationwide directory of senior-care providers that includes assisted living communities, independent living, and other residential care options. Use this tool to research 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 with your loved ones.