Caregiver’s Guide

Caregiving may be stressful. A caregiver’s job is not easy, but it does not always have to be a burden. If you are thinking about being a caregiver or when you are a caregiver, you will need to know the following things:

•  The kind of care the person needs. This includes medical care, custodial care, home care, etc. Find this out from the person and from his or her doctor, health care team, family, and friends.

•  How the person’s health care and living care expenses will be paid. Find out what assets and health insurance the person has and if these will cover the costs of his or her care.

•  What support services are available. Call Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 or access

•  If there are any caregivers’ support groups that you can join

•  Good books about caregiving that you can read. Contact the National Institute on Aging for a list. Access or call 1-301-496-1752.

•  How to get respite care for the person. Locate persons and/or places that provide this in your area.

•  How much you can truly handle on your own and when the person you are caring for needs residential care.

•  That it is necessary that you take care of your own health and needs, too. Eat well. Exercise regularly. Get enough sleep. Get regular health exams and tests. Tell your doctor you are a caregiver. Follow his or her advice to take care of your health needs.

•  VA offers a number of services, as well as support for caregivers of Veterans. Services include:

– Everyday tips and checklists

– Caregiver Toolbox

– How to find out about Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) Centers near you

– Homemaker and Home Health Aide Program and Respite Care


The Alzheimer’s Association



VA Caregiver Support


This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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