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According to the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), more than 65 million Americans act as unpaid caregivers for a family member, and the average age of an adult who receives assistance is 69 years old. The Executive Office of Elder Affairs (ELD), primarily through the Massachusetts Family Caregiver Support Program, provides resources to enhance the quality of life for both caregivers and their elderly loved ones.

Guidelines for Caring for an Elderly Loved One

If you’re caring for someone 60 years or older, having general guidelines can be invaluable for managing day-to-day care. 

  Health Tips for Elderly Caregiving

  • Update medical information and have it ready at all times. In case of a medical emergency, some of the information you’ll need is:
    • A list and dosage of medications;
    • A list of allergies;
    • Doctors’ contact information; and
    • Insurance information.
  • Keep up with medical appointments, and have on hand all medical documents and a list of questions when preparing to see the doctor.
  • Get the most up-to-date health insurance information from Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone (SHINE), whose counselors are trained to handle questions about Medicare, prescription drug assistance programs, and long-term health insurance.
  • Check eligibility for the Senior Nutrition Program, which provides home-delivered meals to eligible elderly residents. Each meal takes into account the dietary needs of the elderly and includes at least one-third of the daily Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of nutrients.

  Housing Tips for Elderly Caregiving

Care for Caregivers

The physical health and emotional needs of caregivers are just as important as those of their elderly loved ones. To ensure you stay strong enough to aid others:

For more information on resources available to caregivers of elderly family members, visit the Elder Affairs’ website or call (800) AGE-INFO.

What are your experiences as a caregiver? Tweet us at @MassGov to join the conversation.

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