About The Book

As a professional organizer I received a telephone call that went something like this.


“Hi. I just flew in from California. My father had hip replacement surgery and moved from the hospital to a rehab facility in Chapel Hill today and my Mom had a massive heart attack last night and is in intensive care in a hospital in Durham. I just walked into their house and it’s a wreck even though they’ve been telling me everything is fine, and I need to find their long-term care insurance policy but I don’t know what it looks like or where to start looking for it and I’m freaking out. Oh, um, my name’s Karen.”

I wrote Become an Informed Caregiver: What You Should Know When Caring for an Aging Loved One for people like Karen, who must suddenly dive head first into the chaos and emotion of full responsibility for aging loved ones, with no idea what to do or the kinds of information they need. I also wrote it for people like my friend, Katie, whose mom was recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Katie knows she’ll need to take on a caregiving role far sooner than expected and wants to know how to start preparing for it.

Become an Informed Caregiver is a comprehensive reference book for adults like you who are caring for aging loved ones (or soon will be). Its purpose is to educate you on the kinds of information you’ll receive and need as you provide care. Understanding the vast array of information, why it’s important, what it means, and where to find it will enable you to become more organized, to become a better advocate for your loved one, and to know where to go for help and what questions to ask. In turn, this will help relieve some of your stress.

The book covers how and where to find information generally, as well as specific topics such as vital documents, housing, health care, insurances, transportation, financial matters, hiring help, end-of-life planning, and more. It also provides tips on how to organize and store information.