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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 or loved one 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 or from afar, you likely have questions about how to best fulfill your role as a family caregiver.

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).

Prepare to Care Guides: EnglishSpanishChineseEnglish for Asian Americans

In addition, we complied the above guide into a bite-size two-page brochure titled, “A Helping Hand, For Those Caring for Loved Ones.” You can download this brochure in English or Spanish.

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

Originally published July 2012

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