Resource Guide for Family Caregivers

In a publication such as this Resource Guide, it is not possible to anticipate all the unique circumstances you and your loved one may experience during hospitalization or any other contact with the health care system. However you may now have an idea of recurrent suggestions such as the following.

  • Ask many questions and avoid assumptions about care and treatment. Make sure you fully understand your options and all necessary details about care and treatment. Make sure you are spoken to in ways that you and the care receiver understand.
  • Whenever possible, prepare yourself before contact with health care personnel by writing down questions, issues or concerns you or the care receiver might have. Be an active participant.
  • Be clear about the care receiver’s needs and about what you are realistically able to do yourself. Be sure you are not agreeing to take on too much.
  • Keep track of the people with whom you converse, and how to contact them. Take notes about what you agree upon and clarify these statements with the person involved.
  • Whenever possible, get instructions in writing (i.e., regarding medication, treatment specifics, etc.)
  • Take good care of yourself.

Hospitalization can easily be as stressful for the caregiver as for the care receiver. Be sure you maintain your regular eating, sleeping and exercise patterns and try to build in relaxing activities.