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Communication | Caregiving | Advocacy
Think About Your Family

Family involvement is often the backbone of planning and care. It is important to think about what your family can and should be doing in the role of care provider. While family can provide many types of support, it may not be feasible or desirable for parents or spouses to provide certain types of support. It is also important to identify who else in the community should be part of the planning process or your support team member. Many older people are able to remain at home because their family helps with meals, transportation, taking medication, personal care, and more. This type of support is called “family caregiving.” Family caregivers may also be neighbors or friends. Many are employed and are likely responsible for the needs of other family members. Family caregivers are often the “go-between” with health care providers and others for their loved one.

The amount and type of family involvement will change over time. Sometimes that change occurs in an instant due to a health crisis. Good communication is vital to keep this family support system working smoothly.

Think about the following questions for yourself or your family member:

  • Do I expect family members to assist when I have long-term care needs?
  • Does my family or support team have the resources it needs to take care of my needs?
  • Have I talked with my family or support team to determine the amount and type of support they are willing to provide?
  • What other resources will they require to take care of my needs?

Communication | Caregiving | Advocacy
Communication

American Health Care Association
Includes "A Guide for Families – Having the Conversation about Long-Term Care"

Family Caregiver Alliance, National Center on Caregiving
Includes "Holding a Family Meeting"

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
Central source of information about children with special needs for parents, family members, and professionals

National Family Caregivers Association and National Alliance for Caregiving
Includes "Family Caregiving 101 – Communicating Effectively in the Hospital Setting"

Parent to Parent USA
Connects families of children with special needs and the professionals who serve them

University of Kansas, Beach Center on Disability
Real stories and tips

University of Minnesota
Includes "Talking With Your Health Care Provider: A Guide"

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Caregiving

AARP
Includes "Caring for Parents and Finding Help"

AARP
Information for grandparents raising grandchildren

Family Caregiver Alliance National Center on Caregiving

Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Iowa Family Caregiver Support Program
Includes "Answers on Aging"

National Alzheimer’s Association
Planning ahead for Alzheimer's and dementia care options, coordinating care, support and resources

Powerful Tools for Caregivers
A class that empowers family caregivers to take care of themselves

U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging
Alzheimer’s disease education and referral center

U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging
Includes "Long-Distance Caregiving"

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Advocacy

Arc of Iowa
More than 30 local offices to provide support for Iowa children and adults with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities

ASK Family Resource Center
A "one-stop shop" for children and adults with disabilities and their families

Disability Resources.org
Advocacy information for persons with disabilities

Family Caregiver Alliance, National Center on Caregiving
Includes "Advocacy Tips for Caregivers"

Family Voices Iowa
A grassroots clearinghouse providing information and education about the health care of children with special health needs

Iowa Attorney General's Office
Information to protect consumers

Iowa Department on Aging, Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
Trained advocates for residents of long-term care facilities

Iowa Department of Human Rights
Resources to improve the quality of life for low-income, elderly and disabled Iowans

Disability Rights Iowa - Law Center for Protection & Advocacy
Support for persons with disabilities to secure their rights and full participation as citizens

Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol, Empowering Seniors to Prevent Healthcare Fraud
Learn how to protect your Medicare and Medicaid benefits and how to recognize and report suspected fraud or billing errors

National Caregivers Library
Online library for caregivers

National Council on Independent Living
Advancing independant living and the rights of people with disabilities through consumer-driven advocacy

Olmstead Real Choices for Iowa
Information related to the Olmstead Act and how it affects Iowans

 

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Aging & Disability Resource Center

The information presented above should not be used as a substitute for seeking professional advice.  Funding for the development of this Web site was provided in part by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the State of Iowa.

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Last updated 2/20/13

 
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