Tip Sheet

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.


Making Decisions: What Are Your Important Papers?


As you face aging and the need to make plans for your future, you face having to make decisions about many aspects of your lives.  These legal and health care decisions not only protect you from others making decisions for your care that you do not want, 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.

Transferring a Person

Tips to help caregivers move or transfer a loved one with mobility limitations

  • Learn proper body mechanics. Ask for a Physical Therapy referral from your physician to teach you how to use your body so you don’t get hurt.
  • Save your back. If you feel a strain, get help; don’t do it alone. This is for your safety and the safety of the person you are trying to move. If you hurt your back, you aren’t going to be able to care for someone else.

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

Feeding and Nutrition (for dementia)

  • Avoid food fights. Make mealtime as pleasant as possible. Encourage someone to eat but don’t demand, cajole or threaten.
  • Someone with dementia may not know what he/she wants to eat. If giving choices, give only two things to choose between. Even if a choice is made, the person may not want it when it is presented. Don’t take it personally. If you know his/her favorite foods, have them available for back up. Favorite foods might change.

Could it Be Their Brain? A Frontotemporal Dementia Checklist

A Frontotemporal Dementia Checklist for Family and Friends

Downsizing a Home: A Checklist for Caregivers


Moving is a high-stress life event, the experts tell us, and they're right. Whether it's cross-town or cross-country, whether to a small apartment or a large suburban home, tackling the organizing, packing, discarding, cleaning, paperwork and the myriad other tasks is a major challenge.

When you're older and moving from the family home to a new smaller residence, possibly in a new community or your adult child's home, sorting through decades of family history and possessions can feel overwhelming—even paralyzing.

Dressing and Grooming (for dementia)

  • Simplify clothing choices by putting out an outfit for the care receiver to wear, or give an option of two outfits. Do not ask open-ended questions like, "What do you want to wear?"—this kind of question can overwhelm someone with dementia.

Dental Care (for dementia)

  • Dental hygiene is important for overall health. Poor dental hygiene may lead to heart disease, gingivitis, stroke, osteoporosis and respiratory disease. In addition to causing bad breath, it can also affect one's ability to eat, chew and talk. Certain medications can cause "dry mouth." Dry mouth makes it more difficult to eat and swallow, produce saliva, and causes tongue irritation.

Communication (for dementia)

  • People respond to our body posture, facial expression and tone of voice more than our actual words. Your upbeat mood can help keep the person you are dealing with remain calmer.
  • You need to pay attention to the non verbal clues the person you are caring for is giving you. Understanding his/her feelings may be more important than the content of the conversation. Acknowledge feelings whenever possible.


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