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Prepare to Care: A Caregiving Planning Guide for Families

How to take care of your loved one's needs

Prepare to Care

The busy lifestyle of most Americans today — two-earner couples, single-headed households, geographically scattered families — can make caring for an older relative challenging. Whether you are taking parents to a doctor's appointment, helping them pay bills or providing full-time care for them in your home, you likely have questions about how to best fulfill your role as a caregiver.

woman helps with another woman's shopping bags, caregiving resource center AARP

Get advice on how to have difficult conversations about caring for a loved one. — Photo by Getty Images

Prepare to Care: A Resource Guide for Families was developed by AARP to help make the job more manageable. It includes information on how to have vital conversations with older family members, organize important documents, assess your loved one's needs and locate important resources. It provides simple, straightforward information and checklists that help guide family conversations. And it outlines what you need to do — in five simple, easy-to-understand steps — to take care of your loved one in the best possible way.

Step 1: Start the Conversation

Step 2: Form Your Team

Step 3: Make a Plan

Step 4: Find Support

Step 5: Care for Yourself

It's never too early or too late to help your family "Prepare to Care" by downloading this free resource guide (pdf).

Also of interest: Everything you need to know about caregiving.

Originally published July 2012

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