Where to Start

When faced with an illness or medical crisis, knowing what resources are available could be helpful and knowing where to find them can be overwhelming.  A good place to begin is to talk with a licensed geriatric case manager, a licensed social worker, or with your doctor.

The AARP Caregiving Resource Center is a very comprehensive website that has tools and resources for all aspects of caregiving and is a good place to start and to refer back to time and again.

In March of 2010, the White House Conference on Aging, in cooperation with Emblem Health and the National Alliance for Caregiving, produced a manual that can be downloaded from their website. The manual is called Care for the Family Caregiver: A Place to Start

Joy Loverde wrote a very well-received and extremely useful book, The Complete Eldercare Planner, Where to Start, Which Questions to Ask, and How to Find Help. If you love checklists, this is a great resource for you. The book covers topics such as Effective Planning, Creating a Care Team, Be Kind to Yourself, Communicating, Emergency Preparedness, Money Matters, Legal Matters, Insurance, Housing, Safe and Secure, Transportation and Mobility, Managing Medical Care, Quality of Life, Death and Dying, and The Documents Locator.

All of the forms can be downloaded from her website:

In addition, she has an iPhone app.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s website for consumers has an entire section devoted to caregiving and has many useful tools and material.

Another great resource for caregivers is the website CareGiving.com (http://www.caregiving.com). The realities of caregiving are often seen as a process with distinct stages. Denise M. Brown, a Certified Caregiving Coach and founder of Caregiving.com, is the author of a handbook for caregivers titled The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey. She has identified six stages in the caregiving process, and they form the framework for this section on Caregiving Realities.

Each stage has a keyword and purpose with suggestions to help a person navigate effectively and with the least amount of stress. Look at the stages condensed below. This section of the Bridges website is designed around the Six Stages. The first step is to identify the stage that interests you and then go to that section to obtain more information, resources, and support.

There are additional links and resources provided throughout this website that are specific to certain content sections or issues.

Six Stages of Caregiving