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Q: My father, 82, is living independently in his own home but needs help. He has agreed to have someone help in his home, to do some cooking, housekeeping, shopping and laundry. This will cost about $960 per month and his income from his pension and Social Security is only $1500 per month. He will need about an extra $1000 each month to cover his expenses. Is there help available to pay for the attendant so that he can stay at home?

Background Checking: Resources that Help

Stories fill the news about aides who take advantage of, rather than care for, a parent, spouse or other family member in their home. Drained savings accounts, missing jewelry, and unexplained bruises are all too common experiences. One way to avoid becoming a victim is to conduct an attendant background check. Background checks include: a review of job performance and verification that the information provided to the family caregiver is accurate, and the attendant can do the job that the caregiver needs to be done.

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Medications: A double-edged sword

“Any symptom in an elderly patient should be considered a drug side effect until proved otherwise.”
Brown University
Long-term Care Quality Letter, 1995.

Controlling Frustration: A Class for Caregivers (Manuals)

Leader's manual describes the methods for conducting an 8-week class that teaches family caregivers the basic steps for learning to relax, to control their negative thoughts, and to act assertively when necessary. Participant's manual includes exercises and homework assignments to supplement the classes. Available in both English and Spanish.

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Communicating with Your Doctor

When was the last time you left a doctor visit feeling satisfied that your concerns were heard and responded to? Successful communication with your doctor demands effective two-way communication. Here are a few tips to consider:

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.

Creating Peer-to-Peer Support Groups for Caregivers

Personal Care Agreements

How to Compensate a Family Member for Providing Care



Many families reach a point when they recognize that an ill or older relative needs help. There are usually warning signs: difficulty with daily activities; memory problems; trouble with banking and finances; multiple falls; problems with driving; forgetting medications. Sometimes an elderly or ill loved one needs more than occasional assistance — they need full-time care.

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.


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