Brian Duke’s '79 Tips on Caregiving

Brian Duke ’79 is director of senior services at Main Line Health and former secretary of aging of Pennsylvania (the nation’s fourth-grayist state). He has advice for caregivers.

  1.  Make sure you take care of yourself and ask for help, because so many caregivers neglect their own well-being.
  2.  Understand the care recipient’s health condition, current meds  and treating physicians, and where they recommend their health care be delivered. Discern these as early as possible in the caregiving journey.
  3.  Talk to the person about their planning, including wills, executive power of attorney, medical power of attorney and surrogacy. This doesn’t mean you have to be the one responsible for these matters.
  4. Gain access to caregivers’ support programs (some are disease specific), because sometimes you feel alone and there is richness in this dialogue.
  5. Take a break. Know about community services that provide options, or a family member who can support you. 
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