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Caregiving Resources

Information for family caregivers and those caring for aging or chronically ill adults


​Be sure to discuss information gathered from these resources with your health care providers to see if it is relevant to your individual situation. Health and medical information accessed through these websites is not intended to substitute for or to replace the advice or instruction of a health care professional. 

About PlaneTree Health Library

PlaneTree Health Library's mission is to guide the public to trustworthy, accurate, and free health and medical information. In operation since 1989, it is a free, public, patient and consumer health library and 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. It does not accept advertisements; it has no commercial relationship with the sources of information on these webpages. Visit our online information guides linked from our main website at:

Long-Distance Caregiving

It is possible to play an active role in caring for someone at a distance. One of the first questions, of course, is determining if someone needs help - and it's possible to make that decision at a distance.

The following links give several recommendations on how to go forwards with caring from a distance, and references for more information:


View or download these free, online handbooks give more detailed advice:

Aging Parents has a series of 4 podcasts / videos on Distance Caregiving (You Can Do It!, Your Support Network, Rural Caregiving, and When to Go). Links to audio-only podcasts are here (scroll down); or they can be viewed on YouTube:

When do you need to visit in person?

Using Technology to Assist

Current technology can greatly assist caring from a distance. Please see the sections on technologies in Caring Basics and Caring at Home (these sources discuss apps and tools for being present remotely with your loved one).

Video calling software applications like Zoom, Skype, or Facetime can be a real boon, not just to communicate with your loved one but also to virtually join health appointments (with permission) or for family conference calls. Remote sensors that check for falls or whether medications were taken on schedule, and monitoring cameras that check location or activity, can provide some peace of mind -- but can bring up some privacy concerns as well.

Technology is ever-changing, of course. Those links will help give an idea of the types of technology currently available, but searches will find new products. Try to find reviews or product comparisons, if possible, before buying.

Worried About Elder Abuse?

One fear shared by many long-distance caregivers is that their loved one might face elder abuse. Here are some of the warning signs of physical, emotional, or financial elder abuse. 

If you suspect that a vulnerable adult might be in trouble, here are links to local agencies that can investigate and evaluate the situation.

Caring from a Distance in the COVID Pandemic

Worried about older family or friends during this pandemic? Frustrated that you can't physically be with them during "stay home' orders? Our resource guide on Coronavirus and COVID-19 Information: Santa Clara County and California has extensive information and helpful links.

If your loved one is in California, the state has several initiatives for helping home-bound seniors during this pandemic. There is a statewide hotline number, staffed 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., 7 days a week at (833) 544-2374. For the Bay Area, an information and referral hotline is available 24/7 at 211.

For those with family or friends in a care facility at this time, these may also be useful:

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