Welcome to the Caregiver's Guide!

This is a useful tool for you.

Read the first three chapters and download the guide.

Are you a caregiver?

You are a caregiver if your responsibilities to your loved one include shopping for groceries, scheduling appointments, handling medications or finances, and running errands, among others.

You are in charge of grocery shopping, house cleaning, running errands, or you assist with their personal hygiene.

You are in charge of coordinating their care, including their health care, taking them to their appointments, and getting their medications.

You provide assistance with their physical therapy, medication administration, wound cleaning, and other medical procedures.

You are in charge of managing their finances, financial responsibilities, or legal matters.

Make a plan

Regardless of whether you already take care of someone or you are beginning to notice warning signs in your parents or other elderly or disabled family members, it's crucial that you get organized and draft an action plan. This includes securing all legal and financial documents, ensuring the support and cooperation of other family members, and most of all and inasmuch as possible, including the person you take care of in these arrangements so they can feel secure.

Open the communication lines

Taking care of another person is a huge task and a long-term commitment. Those who balance this job the best are those who can rely on the support and cooperation of the rest of the family. Furthermore, it is important to do it while your family member can still make decisions.

Regardless of the stage you are in, if you have family, gather them to discuss how you will all deal with the care and financial needs of your family member. You should consider including the following among the most important topics:

Teamwork and Task Sharing

For example, who will take care of the groceries, home maintenance, paying the bills, coordinating health care, and providing appointment transportation, among others.

Financial support

How much money would each of you have to contribute in case your family member does not have the financial means to support themselves.

Account transparency

If your family member has a retirement account, Social Security benefits, properties, savings accounts, or any other form of income, it is important that you reach an agreement on how that money will be used and what type of accountability will be required. This is key for maintaining good family relations and avoiding misunderstandings. To make payments easier, consider assigning this duty to a single family member and establish the way and frequency they should report on the expenses.

Other dependents

If your family member has a dependent minor or elderly person (with or without disabilities), you should discuss how that responsibility will be shared. In the case of people with special needs, make sure they obtain all the benefits available to them, such as Social Security disability benefits and any others that may apply. There could also be a surviving spouse, which may entail assuming the supervision of their benefits to make sure the spouse is the appointed beneficiary in the bank account, the life insurance policy, and the retirement benefits of your loved one.