Getting Started Slide Background

HOW DO I GET STARTED

with caregiving?

If you're not sure where to start, call 1-800-333-2433

A few tips on getting started with caregiving

  • Start today to be ready for the future.
  • Talk about important things now. While some topics are hard to discuss, your family member or friend might just be waiting for an opening to talk about them.
  • Make a plan. Use of AARP’s free Prepare to Care guide, an “all-in-one” planning kit.
  • Find resources. Use Minnesota’s web-based Long-term Care Choices Navigator to help you make choices and find local resources.
  • Ask your family member or friend to complete a Health Care Directive so their health wishes are documented.
  • Consider legal matters. Laws vary from state to state. It might be helpful to get advice from someone who specializes in elder law.

Know your finances.

  • Think ahead about how long-term care will be paid for. Options include personal income and savings, long-term care insurance, home equity options, or long-term care annuities. Most people think that Medicare will cover it all. However, Medicare pays for limited long-term care (e.g., limited time in skilled care setting or home care services).

Caregiving is not meant to be a one-person job —
find support.

  • Form a team. Think of what needs to be done, and when, and the people who could help. A family friend might cook dinner once a month. Or, a neighbor might get groceries every week.
  • Get back-up. Find at least two people who will help if you are sick, you work, or you need to be away.
  • Hold a family meeting. Gather everyone and discuss needs and solutions. Confirm next steps. Then, follow through with decisions made. See the Minnesota Board on Aging Family Meeting brochure for information.

ALREADY A CAREGIVER?

Don’t forget to read our tips on caregiving for older adults.

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