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A caregiver should acquire or brush up on skills which are needed now or may be needed in the future.

Skills Enhancement for Caregivers

Online courses can be found at

Online courses for caregivers

There are also 75 hour online courses developed for certified nurse’s assistants during the pandemic. Some courses may be found at

Building a Caregiver’s Reference Library

A caregiver should assemble a small library of reference books.
These might include

  • Dr. Muriel R. Gillick’s The Caregiver’s Encyclopedia,
  • Thomas Lee Wright’s The Family Caregiver,
  • Dr. David Levy’s The Family Caregiver’s Manual and
  • Sally Balch Hurme’s ABA/AARP Checklist for Family Caregivers.

There are dozens of such books, primarily focused on Alzheimer’s but also on childhood leukemia, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s, ALS, normal pressure hydrocephalus and Hashimoto’s encephaly. None of them will give the family caregiver what a lawyer and a trust officer can: a guide to financially compensating the family caregiver while preserving public benefits and family harmony, increasing the likelihood of continued good care and decreasing the likelihood of innocent commingling, exploitation, neglect or abuse.

Organizing Information: Notebooks and Diaries

A caregiver should maintain a notebook with information on the person being cared for and a diary. Several such notebooks are available commercially. Writing down every day what was done and when will help justify a request for reimbursement. It will also help the caregiver notice subtle changes in blood pressure, temperature, weight, alertness, and skin elasticity. A little variation here, a little variation there taken together may show that it is time to act, before a major problem develops.


Elder law attorney, Terry Garrett, CELA, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is an Approved Guardianship Attorney. She assists people in elder law, estate and special needs planning, guardianship and settling estates. She graduated with honors from Cornell University. She was on the Dean’s List at Wharton Business School. She earned her J.D. at Columbia Law School, receiving the Parker Award and a Mellon Fellowship.

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