Seasoned New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast in her graphic memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? wonderfully illustrates the complications of navigating the role of caregiver for her aging parents. The memoir strongly resonated with me and made me reflect on some of the situations my family experienced when taking care of our older relatives. While Chast did not care for her parents in her own home, she was still responsible as her parents’ only child for helping them through lengthy hospital stays, deciding where they would receive assisted living, and managing their finances. All of these components of the caregiving process can be overwhelming and stressful, especially to inexperienced caregivers, like Chast, and those who take care of older loved ones at home. CLP and other sites, however, offer tools to users to assist with some of the decisions that caregivers must often make as part of their responsibilities. They include the following:
Legal Forms Library (available to CLP and ACLA cardholders)
This database provides access to hundreds of forms pertaining to legal documentation in PA including those for last will and testament, living will, personal planning, and power of attorney. Forms have been formatted for downloading and can be completed through Microsoft Word.
Produced by the National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus provides thousands of entries on different medical conditions, prescription drugs, and treatment options for patients as well as caregivers managing loved ones’ health needs. Users can locate easy-to-understand and credible health information when looking for a place to start with research.
Maintained by the Administration on Aging and the Department of Health and Human Services, Eldercare Locator provides an online directory of senior services across the country to assist with the aging process. Users can search for organizations by location or by subject. Some of the subjects include “Caregiver,” “Elder Abuse Prevention,” “Healthy Aging,” and “In-Home Services.”