To get started:
- Ask the primary caregiver, if there is one, and the care recipient how you can be most helpful
- Talk to friends who are caregivers to see if they have suggestions about ways to help
- Find out more about local resources that might be useful
- Develop a good understanding of the person’s health issues and other needs
- Visit as often as you can; not only might you notice something that needs to be done and can be taken care of from a distance, but you can also relieve a primary caregiver for a short time
Many of us don’t automatically have a lot of caregiver skills. Information about training opportunities is available. Some local chapters of the American Red Cross might offer courses, as do some nonprofit organizations focused on caregiving. Medicare and Medicaid will sometimes pay for this training. See Where can I find local resources for my family member? to find local services for older adults and their families.