Nearly 6 million people over age 65 receive home health services for acute and chronic health conditions. Due to older adults having more complicated medical conditions, caring and providing assistance to older adults can be difficult. Caregivers should have skills to support complicated medical conditions and take advantage of opportunities to help older adults with health information. The term caregiver refers to anyone who provides assistance to an older adult. There are two types of caregivers: informal and formal. Informal caregivers are unpaid individuals such as neighbors, family members or friends who provide care. Formal caregivers are paid employees or volunteers from a service provider who provide care in a formal setting, such as a nursing home or assisted living facility. Caregivers can influence health decisions older adults make or decisions about older adults that other people make.
Here are a few tips caregivers can use to help older adults make decisions about their health.
- Provide step-by-step instructions, illustrated , if possible, for medication and/or medical purposes
- Provide internet sites specific to older adults, such as CDC's Healthy Aging web pages, with reliable health information
- Provide a large print list of important telephone numbers, such as emergency numbers, local pharmacies, and medical providers
- Help prepare a list of key questions for the next medical and dental visits and encourage older adults to ask questions
- Contact your local area agency on aging or call the Administration on Aging Eldercare Locator toll free number at 1-800-677-1116 to find local services, programs, and resources
For more information for caregivers who serve older adults visit: