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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:

More Than a One-Person Job

It's important to keep in mind that one person can't do it all.

Care map of family members and caregivers who take care for an oder adult, and people in their support group, from Atlas of Caregiving.

(Example of a care map of family members and caregivers who take care for an oder adult, including their support group, from the Altas of Caregiving.)

It's also very common that conflicting opinions or efforts between family members come into conflict.

The resources linked below may help family and friends find common ground to agree on care decisions and act as a team.

White-haired man on a beach drawing a heart in the sand

People other than immediate family members often step up to care for LGBT seniors, "elder orphans", and those who (for whatever reason) can't look to relatives for care. They may have special concerns, however: 

When Caregiving Isn't the Only Job

The reality is that many caregivers also have other jobs - which can bring extra stress but also additional rewards. These sources have advice on juggling responsibilities:

Organizational Tools and Tech

Caregivers need all the organizational help they can get - and online apps can be tremendously helpful to track all the details. 


Here are some review articles on software apps to consider:

For ideas on how to use computers in caregiving, see the link below (and also the box for Technology Tools on on our page for Caring at Home):
Document storage apps (like DropBoxiCloud, Google Docs, etc.) can be used to keep any notes, forms, or checklists, and to share them with other members of your caregiving team.  That could be a very effective way to use .pdf forms like these:

Don't forget to make good use of smartphones!

The built-in Health apps on the Apple iPhone and the Health apps on Android phones do more than just track steps, with possibilities of other biometric features in the future. 

Getting a reminder to take medications by text message could also be very useful.

And if possible, everyone should take advantage of the ability to enter emergency information into the health information section of their smartphone, so emergency medical personnel can get access when needed (without having to unlock the phone or expose other personal information). Include medications, medical conditions, and emergency contacts - and remember to update that information regularly.

When Should Someone Stop Driving?

Most Americans consider driving a car a necessity - but many senior drivers are not safe. The longer one stays driving after about age 60, the more likely they are to cause - or be involved in - an accident. Older adults are often more likely to be injured in an accident, too.

The California DMV has safety guides for older drivers in both English & Spanish:

Being able to drive is crucially important to be able to to live independently. Driving safely, however, depends on good vision, reaction time, physical abilities, attention span, memory and cognition - which can all change as we age. Medications often make drivers unsafe, too. These additional resources can also help determine whether it's time to hang up the car keys for good:

If someone is open to planning ahead to give up driving (maybe after a scary near miss, or a new diagnosis or medication that makes it more dangerous to drive), these may be useful:

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