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Articles of Interest: Family Caregiver

Family Caregiver


Tips for Helping Family Members with Finances

Click here to download the publication written by Erin Vogt, LCSW, a social worker and client care coordinator at Dutton & Casey.


Guide to Care Plan Meeting

Click here to download the publication written by Erin Vogt, LCSW, a social worker and client care coordinator at Dutton & Casey.


Guide to Choosing an Elder Law Attorney

This resource explains the unique qualifications of an elder law attorney and how to locate one.


The Family Caregiver; A Guide to Doctor Visits

Doctor visits can often be a source of conflict between patients and their family caregivers, who may have different ideas about the things to discuss with the doctor. This guide, from the United Hospital Fund, provides practical tips to help patients and family caregivers coordinate agendas before an appointment and to communicate effectively together during the doctor visit - tips that will help avoid conflict as well as get the most out of the encounter with the doctor.

article in English , article in Spanish, article in Chinese, article in Russian


Home Safety Video from the Family Caregiver Alliance

watch the video


Role of the Power of Attorney for Property

article written by Attorney Janna Dutton, JD, CELA


Managing Someone Else's Money

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published three helpful resource guides.

-Help for Represenative Payees and VA Fiduciaries

-Help for Trustees Under a Revocable Living Trust

-Help for Agents Under a Power of Attorney


Why You Might Be Left Out of a Relative's Meeting with an Elder Law Attorney

When you bring a family member or friend to meet with an elder law attorney, you might expect to sit in on the consultation. However, elder law attorneys need to meet with their clients alone for at least part of the consultation, so be prepared to spend time in the waiting room.

Although your instinct may be to sit in on your relative's meeting with the attorney in order to help explain the relative's situation, a new brochure from the American Bar Association explains why elder law attorneys need to meet with their clients without anyone else present. While elder law issues often involve lots of family members, usually the attorney can only represent one person without a conflict of interest arising. Even if you are the one paying the bill, the lawyer's client -- usually the older person -- is going to be the person whose interests are at stake in the legal planning.

The attorney also has a duty to keep client information confidential, so he or she cannot give you information unless your relative agrees. Each client is different and the attorney needs to find out how much information the client wants shared.

One job of the elder law attorney is to assess a client's competency. The attorney needs to know whether the client has the capacity to make decisions, and speaking privately with the client is the only way to make this determination. The attorney may need to check with you to get details, such as addresses or dates, but in general the attorney should be able to get most of the information from the client.

Keeping family members out of the discussion also helps to make it less likely the finished documents will be challenged. There are many cases where a family member is accused of having undue influence over someone in the making of a will or power of attorney. If you maintain some distance from the process, it is less likely that this will occur.

To read the brochure from the American Bar Association, click here.


Resources for those affected by Stroke

Careliving, a program from the National Stroke Association
Careliving is an online social network that allows caregivers and family members of stroke survivors to connect, share and support one another. Click here to download the publication.

Stroke Survivors Empowering Each Other (SSEEO)
Providing advocacy, support, education, and resources to stroke survivors and their families.
Click here to learn more


Resource for Veterans

The Veterans Administration has established a National Caregiver Support Line for Caregivers of Veterans — spouses, children, other family members and friends of Veterans as well as Veterans themselves. The purpose of the support line is to provide a centralized location for information and support regarding providing care for a Veteran. The support line responders are licensed social workers who provide guidance, education on VA programs and benefits, information on community resources, and emotional support. When a Caregiver or Veteran needs additional assistance or a connection to their local VA medical center, a referral is made to their Caregiver Support Coordinator.

To reach the VA Caregiver Support Line call toll free 1.855.260.3274. Operating hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Eastern Standard Time and Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.


Obtaining Local Resources

The Illinois Department on Aging contracts with local agencies to assist people locate resources and services. Click here for information on these agencies.


Healthcare Communication Board for Medical, Physical, and Emotional Information

For people who are unable to speak, this tool will assist with communication. Click here to download the publication. Click here to download the publication.


Tips for Caregivers of People with Dementia

Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease at home is a difficult task and can become overwhelming at times. Each day brings new challenges as the caregiver copes with changing levels of ability and new patterns of behavior. Research has shown that caregivers themselves often are at increased risk for depression and illness, especially if they do not receive adequate support from family, friends, and the community. Click here to download the publication.


A Guide for Families of People with Dementia Living in Care Facilities

The Alzheimer’s Association-Greater Illinois Chapter offers a free online resource, Encouraging Comfort Care: A Guide for Families of People with Dementia Living in Care Facilities. This 21-page booklet provides useful information to families and staff of long-term care facilities about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, particularly care issues related to the late and final stages.

For families, this guide will enable them to make informed choices about a variety of medical decisions they may face on behalf of loved ones with dementia living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other types of care facilities. It will also equip families to ask good questions aimed at obtaining the best care for their loved ones, including a handy checklist of comfort care measures to be discussed with staff members of care facilities. Click here to download the publication.


Legal Planning for Living with a Chronic Medical Condition

In 1900, most people died younger from communicable diseases and after relatively short illnesses. Today, we are more likely to die older from one or more chronic conditions and after an extended period of illness. The decisions involved with planning for disability associated with chronic conditions can be difficult to make. Recognizing that developing a plan is the goal and that plans can (and should) be revised over time may help you assume a proactive role when it comes to legal matters. Click here to read an article, written by Janna Dutton, Certified Elder Law Attorney, regarding this important topic.