1.         Plan before a crisis.

Ask the hard questions in advance so that you have a roadmap for the future. Also, if you have the answers to these questions, and the legal paperwork is in order, then you can act quickly and confidently.

2.         Stay flexible.

Changes can occur daily. You are always “on” but it is important to take regular breaks. You can’t just walk away when you are frustrated so you need to take care of yourself to maintain your own health, strength, and patience.

3.         Keep a journal and a three ring binder for information about your loved one.

This can be your lifeline of information. You can put anything you want in your binder pertaining to the care of your loved one.  It helps you not only to stay focused and organized, but also to communicate accurately with other care team providers and to articulate what you need.

4.         Keep a caregiver journal for yourself.

A diary of sorts, this can be a way for you to express your feelings, your hopes, your sadness, and even your gratitude. You can document motivational sayings and your feelings when you read them. The journal is yours alone as a reminder and an emotional outlet.

5.         Stay in touch with your state and federal representatives and senators.

When you run into a major obstacle, their staff can help you find information and pave the way to a solution when you can’t. They can’t work miracles, but they have access to the rules and people who know the rules. They can get you the information you need, and they love to help their constituents.

Free Caregiver’s Guide:

Solid legal and financial planning is critical for a loved one with long-term care needs. Download our free Caregiver’s Guide to learn the critical information you need to know about caring for your loved one.

Jackie Bedard
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Attorney, Author, and Founder of Carolina Family Estate Planning
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