DEZZ8 Asked April 2010

How do I get started and organized if I am a new caregiver for my grandparents that require full-time care?

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My grandfather has Alzhiemers and my grandmother parkinson's . I am the only available caregiver for them . I just need help getting organized .

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Those are excellent suggestions. I’m including a link to a printable checklist that can help as well:
www.AgingCare.com/136218
In addition, you will want to talk to your grandparents about various legal matters, including durable power of attorney (POA), which is what Lilli suggested. There are other legal things to consider as well, such as advanced directives and living wills, too. Here is a link that may help. It’s important that your grandparents appoint a POA while they are still of sound mind, otherwise you may have to get guardianship (there is a link within this first article that explains that in more detail):
www.AgingCare.com/140233
This other article simply explains some of the other legal documents/terms you may come across and need to know.
www.AgingCare.com/140435
I know you said you are trying to just get organized, but if you need assistance with your grandparents in the home or need to find senior living options for them, we have articles and resources here that can help you with that as well. Our community of caregivers is extremely helpful in giving suggestions and pointing out what has worked for them, so feel free to ask questions when you need help.

Good luck to you. Thank you for being a caregiver.
Dani
AgingCare.com Editor
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PirateGal Apr 2010
Yes first are they living with you or at a Retirement home? If they are with you then boy oh boy do you need some help. I would look into the caregiver services around you. You can get as low as 3 hour minimum services (estimate $20 an hour) to help you, it all depends on how the company is set up.
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toadballet1 Apr 2010
Are your grandparents living with you or are they in a facility?
If you are the designated caregiver, you should have a "Power of Attorney" for both medical and financial. These documents give you the power to make both kinds of decisions for them. You can see an attorney about having them drawn up or go to a reputable website (which is what I did) and click on your state. Make sure they have updated forms.
Next, I would have a list of their medications available. Every time I go to a new doc they ask for this...I just have it listed on a card and keep it in my wallet along with the medical POA.
I would need more information about caregiving...are you considering having paid caregivers come in? There is not much governmental financial support for family caregivers.
Also, check your local state/city/county office on aging, the veterans administration (if applicable), and senior centers in your area.
I also found the social workers at my local hospital to be very helpful.
good luck
Lilli
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