Care Network Link

Checklist for Caregivers

Caring for another person can be a difficult task. As with any difficult task, there are ways to make it easier by thorough preparation and planning. Whether it's hosting the holiday dinner for fifteen relatives or tackling a major problem at work, a check list is your best friend. As we think about the things that caregivers have to do to provide good care for their loved ones, we see elements of a check list that emerge: educate yourself about your loved one's condition; explore your options; identify community resources; create a list of people who can help; organize your important papers; make a care plan; plan for the future.  


  • Talk with the doctor  
  • Research the Internet  
  • Learn how to provide the special care that's needed   

Explore Options  

  • Review the specific things that must be done daily, weekly, monthly  
  • Assign the responsibility for getting each done to someone (not all of them by you!)  

Identify Resources 

  • Call the Agency on Aging in your area
  • Consider hiring a care manager  
  • Review the InfoLine Internet database  
  • Get information on local Adult Day Centers  

Create Lists  

  • List the tasks that someone other than you could do  
  • Make a list of people who know the person you care for or know and/or love you  
  • Look at both lists and determine who to ask for help with each task  


  • Make a list of all the doctors, laboratories, therapists and pharmacies you use  
  • Make a list of all the diagnoses and allergic conditions of the person for whom you provide care  
  • Create a financial file with the health insurance information, life insurance, bank information  
  • Make multiple photocopies of important documents such as birth certificate, license, Social Security card, Medicare card  

Make a Care Plan  

  • Ask the person you care for about his/her wishes  
  • Develop a log for medications, meals, doctor visits  
  • Check the household for accessibility and safety  
  • Make a visitor log and ask for commitments from friends and family to make it a priority to visit at pre-scheduled intervals
  • Contact disease specific organizations 

Plan for the Future  

  • Know the prognosis  
  • Discuss advanced directives  
  • Assess finances  
  • Consult with an attorney about Power of Attorney  
  • Create a long term care plan