Are you caring for a family member or friend? You are not alone.

Approximately 1.7 million Ohioans provide some level of care for a loved one who is older or has a disability. Across the nation, more than 50 million Americans provide care for a family or friend during any given year. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000)

Caregivers are often spouses, children, grandchildren, grandparents, siblings, friends, and neighbors. They often provide help with:

  • Chores, including cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, and/or transportation
  • Daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, and/or eating
  • Managing finances, insurance, or bill paying
  • Scheduling and attending doctors appointments

A Few Tips for Caregivers

  1. Take care of your own health. Make sure you get routine checkups with your doctor, exercise regularly, take respite breaks, and watch for signs of depression.
  2. Accept offers of help. Caregiving is hard work. Accept help from others and suggest specific ways others can help you.
  3. Communicate effectively with doctors. Be prepared with a list of concerns or questions for the appointment. Ask questions about treatment options and make notes of instructions.
  4. Organize medical information. Create a folder or binder containing the patient’s medical history, diagnosis information, physician contact information, allergies, medication lists, and insurance information. This information will help you with discussions about the patient’s health and completing any necessary paperwork.
  5. Make sure legal documents are in order. Make sure to have copies of any advance directives, including durable health care power of attorney forms or living wills.