Preparing for Caregiving

Dementia: Is this Dementia and What Does it Mean?


What does it mean when someone is said to have dementia? For some people, the word conjures up scary images of “crazy” behavior and loss of control. In fact, the word dementia describes a group of symptoms that includes short-term memory loss, confusion, the inability to problem-solve, the inability to complete multi-step activities such as preparing a meal or balancing a checkbook, and, sometimes, personality changes or unusual behavior.

Todo lo que un cuidador debe saber sobre el dinero (What Every Caregiver Needs to Know About Money)

Photo credit:
Used under Creative Commons license
conversation . . L1067630 []
Copyright 2008 Susan Sermoneta

What Every Caregiver Needs to Know About Money

Photo credit:
Used under Creative Commons license
conversation . . L1067630 []
Copyright 2008 Susan Sermoneta

Where to Find My Important Papers

Click here to download a PDF of this form to print or fill out on your computer.

A Caregiver’s Bill of Rights

I have the right . . .

  • To take care of myself.  This is not an act of selfishness. It will give me the capacity of taking better care of my relative.
  • To seek help from others even though my relative may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength.
  • To maintain facets of my own life that do not include the person I care for, just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can for this person, and I have the right to do some things for myself.

Legal Planning for Incapacity

As you face aging and the need to make plans for your future, you face having to make legal decisions about many aspects of your lives. These legal decisions not only protect you from others doing things you might not like to you, they also protect family and loved ones by giving them guidance in the care that you would like to receive. After completing all the legal paperwork, the next step is to sit down and talk to family about the decisions you have made and why.


Emergency Preparedness Checklist for Caregivers

Floods, earthquakes, tornados, snowstorms . . . wherever you live, there likely exists the potential for a variety of natural disasters that can create an emergency situation. When you're caring for a loved one, it's times like these that you'll be thankful for having prepared for such a situation.

Please use this checklist to organize your emergency preparations. It should be used in conjunction with the Where to Find My Important Papers checklist.


Caregiver Self Care: Caring for You

The care you give to yourself is the care you give to your loved one.

  • Learn about the disease your loved on has.  Find out about what is happening now and what will happen in the future with this disease.  The more you know, the more you will be able to plan.
  • Use community resources.  The more you let these services help you, the less you have to do.  There are places to get help:
    • Your local Area Agency on Aging
    • Paratransit
    • Meals on Wheels
    • Day Care Programs

San Francisco's Great Caregiving Resources

San Francisco is a GOOD place to be a caregiver!


Families and caregivers in San Francisco have access to some of the country’s most innovative programs to help care for loved ones with chronic or disabling health conditions like Alzheimer's, stroke and AIDS.

Digital Technology for the Family Caregiver

Thanks to advances in medicine and public health, people are living longer than ever before. This means more and more family caregivers are responsible for managing the diverse needs of a loved one with chronic illness or frailty. How can family caregivers attempt to balance this added responsibility along with their own personal needs, work, parenting and other demands in their lives?


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