Where to begin?

Illustration of garden entrance with arched gate

Where to begin?

There’s a lot to learn when you become a caregiver, and you may be wondering where to start. Fortunately, many of the experiences you’ll encounter are common, and we've pulled together resources to help you along your journey.

  • Illustration showing man in sun hat pruning a tree

    Noticing Signs of Aging

    You’ve started noticing little changes. Maybe your parent can’t do things they did before, their diet has changed or they’ve become forgetful. You wonder if these are normal parts of aging. What makes you most concerned, though, is how isolated they seem.

  • Illustration of man in greenhouse cleaning the floor with a broom.

    Adjusting to New Limitations

    You read that in the U.S., 3 million older adults go to the emergency room for falls every year. Now when you see your parent shuffle from room to room, every throw rug, power cord and step looks like a tripping hazard – and then there’s the shower. When you start to inventory all the changes you’ll need to make to their house, you wonder if it'll be enough, and for how long.

  • Illustration of three men gardening, one with a wheelbarrel of supplies, one water flowers and one planting flowers

    Balancing Increased Responsibilities

    You’re running two households. Managing your own daily obligations while coordinating meals, transportation to doctor’s appointments and housekeeping for your parent. You don’t know how much longer you can do it all – especially if your parent won't even admit that they need help. Sometimes you remember – with no shortage of guilt – that you had other plans for this time in your life.

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    Life After a Health Event

    Accidents happen. It’s just that for older adults, a fall or illness could mean months of physical therapy and needing assistance getting dressed and going to the bathroom. You realize it’s time to accept that your parent needs more care than you can give. Now you have to figure out how to bring it up. You don’t think your parent will be open to senior living, even though it’s the best option. While the choice feels forced by circumstance, you still want the move to be good – so how do you find the right community?

  • illustration of man in sunhat sitting on bench in garden

    Finding the Right Community

    You know your parent is safe, eating well and getting to appointments, but you still feel a little guilty. When you finally go on a vacation, you worry they’ll feel abandoned because you’ve been visiting almost daily to smooth the transition. But when you get back, you discover they've made friends and even joined a weekly watercolor class. Now that you’re not being a parent to your parent, visiting is, well, fun. You can relax and catch up over dinner – and you don’t even have to cook or clean up after.