Illinois Cognitive Resources Network

Connecting to resources throughout your dementia journey

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Advance Care Planning: Health Care Directives

Advance care planning is not just about old age. At any age, a medical crisis could leave you too ill to make your own health care decisions. Even if you are not sick now, planning for health care in the future is an important step toward making sure you get the medical care you wouldContinue reading “Advance Care Planning: Health Care Directives”

How to Support a Local Caregiver from Far Away

A spouse or the sibling who lives closest to an aging parent often becomes the primary caregiver. Long-distance caregivers can help by providing emotional support and occasional respite to the primary caregiver. Ask the primary caregiver what you can do to help. Staying in contact with your parents by phone or email might also take some pressureContinue reading “How to Support a Local Caregiver from Far Away”

How to Share Caregiving Responsibilities with Family Members

Caring for an older family member often requires teamwork. While one sibling might be local and take on most of the everyday caregiving responsibilities, a long-distance caregiver can also have an important role. As a long-distance caregiver, you can provide important respite to the primary caregiver and support to the aging family member. Talk About Caregiving ResponsibilitiesContinue reading “How to Share Caregiving Responsibilities with Family Members”

Making the Most Out of Visits With Aging Parents or Relatives

Talk to the care recipient ahead of time and find out what he or she would like to do during your visit. Also check with the primary caregiver, if appropriate, to learn what he or she needs, such as handling some caregiving responsibilities while you are in town. This may help you set clear-cut andContinue reading “Making the Most Out of Visits With Aging Parents or Relatives”

Where Can I Find Local Resources for an Aging Parent or Relative?

Searching online is a good way to start collecting resources. Here are a few potentially helpful places to look: Eldercare Locator, 800-677-1116 National Institute on Aging website Family Care Navigator Your state government’s website You might also check with local senior centers. Learn more about long-distance caregiving. For a print copy of NIA’s booklet on Long-Distance Caregiving: TwentyContinue reading “Where Can I Find Local Resources for an Aging Parent or Relative?”

What Do Caregivers Need to Know About Their Family Member’s Health?

Learn as much as you can about your family member’s condition and any treatment. This can help you understand what is going on, anticipate the course of an illness, prevent crises, and assist in healthcare management. It can also make talking with the doctor easier. Get written permission, as needed under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, to receive medicalContinue reading “What Do Caregivers Need to Know About Their Family Member’s Health?”

First Steps for New Long-Distance Caregivers

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 issuesContinue reading “First Steps for New Long-Distance Caregivers”

What Can a Caregiver Really Do From Afar?

Who is a long-distance caregiver? Anyone, anywhere, can be a long-distance caregiver, no matter your gender, income, age, social status, or employment. If you are living an hour or more away from a person who needs your help, you’re probably a long-distance caregiver. Anyone who is caring for an aging friend, relative, or parent fromContinue reading “What Can a Caregiver Really Do From Afar?”

10 Tips to Avoid Caregiver Burnout

The 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Report, released by the Alzheimer’s Association, refers to caregiving as “attending to another person’s health needs.” A caregiver can be a family member:  a wife, a husband, a daughter, a son, a close family friend, or a life partner. No matter the blood relationship, caregiving is a labor of love, whichContinue reading “10 Tips to Avoid Caregiver Burnout”