Caregiving may be one of the most important, and challenging, roles you’ll ever take on. No matter where you are in your caregiving journey — starting to plan; taking care of a family member in your home, in a facility, or from a distance; or managing end-of-life caregiving responsibilities — having resources at your fingertips will make the process easier.
AARP developed this family caregiver guide with you, the caregiver, in mind and as a starting point to help you find the services and support you might need throughout your journey.
To order a print copy of this online guide, call the toll-free AARP Family Caregiving Resource Line at 877-333-5885 and indicate which state(s) you would like to receive. A copy will be mailed to you.
- LifeLong Links (866-468-7887 toll-free)
- LifeLong Links provides older Iowans, adults with disabilities, veterans and caregivers access to services and supports throughout the state that will help them develop a plan for long-term independent living.
- State Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) (800-351-4664 | firstname.lastname@example.org)
- The Senior Health Insurance Information
Program has local Medicare counselors ready to help with enrolling, choosing a plan and applying for income assistance.
- Iowa Medicaid Enterprise (IME) and Department of Human Services (800-338-8366 | 515- 256-4606)
- Medicaid provides health care coverage administered by the state for financially
needy children, parents with children, people with disabilities, the elderly and pregnant women. The goal is for members to live healthy, stable and self-sufficient lives.
- Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (OSLTCO) (510 E. 12th St., Suite 2 Des Moines, IA 50319 | 515-725-3308 866-236-1430 toll-free)
- OSLTCO advocates for the health, safety, welfare and rights of residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, and assisted living facilities. Ombudsmen provide information about how to find a facility and what to do to get quality care. They are trained to resolve problems and can assist residents with complaints.
- Iowa Insurance Division (877-955-1212 toll-free)
- The Iowa Insurance Division oversees any issues pertaining to access, sales and administration of health insurance benefits.
- Iowa Drug Card (877-321-6755 toll-free)
- The Iowa Drug Card is a free prescription assistance program that helps all Iowans afford their prescription medications. There is no enrollment process for the statewide program.
Home- and Community-Based Resources
- Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) (800-532-3213)
- AAAs provide information and referrals to older
adults, adults with disabilities, veterans and their caregivers; they also coordinate a wide range of long-term living and community support services, including transportation, meals and respite care.
- Elderbridge Agency on Aging (800-243-0678)
- Mason City: 1190 Briarstone Drive, Suite 3
- Carroll: 603 N. West St.
- Fort Dodge: 308 Central Ave.
- Spencer: 714 10th Ave. East, Suite 1 712-262-1775
- Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging (800-779-8707)
- Waterloo: 3840 W. Ninth St.
- Decorah: 607 Washington St.
- Dubuque: 2728 Asbury Road
- AARP Foundation’s Benefits QuickLINK
- Find public benefits that can help you pay for food, medicine, health care, utilities and more by using AARP Foundation’s Benefits QuickLINK tools.
- Iowa Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division 515-281-5926 | 888-777-4590 (outside of the Des Moines metro area) |email@example.com)
- The Consumer Protection Division guards
the public from fraud, deception and unfair business practices. It also enforces laws that protect consumers from false or misleading
advertisements and deceptive sales practices.
- Iowa Legal Aid: Legal Hotline for Older Iowans (800-992-8161)
- Iowa Legal Aid is a non-profit that provides critical legal assistance with civil matters to low-income and vulnerable Iowans.
- Adult Protective Services (APS) (800-362-2178)
- APS provides education about, and investigates allegations of, elder abuse and neglect — including physical, sexual, emotional and verbal abuse, and financial exploitation
Specific Audience Resources
- AARP Caregiving Guides
- AARP offers free caregiving guides for specific audiences, including guides for military families and LGBT individuals. The guides, also offered in Spanish and Chinese, are designed to help develop and implement a caregiving plan.
- Iowa Department of Veteran Affairs (800-827-1000 (for benefits questions) | 515-252-4698 800-838-4692)
- Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs provides Iowa’s older and disabled veterans with rehabilitative, residential and medical care and services.
Care for Caregivers
- Community Connections
- AARP Community Connections is a new website that offers steps to get or give help. You can organize online mutual aid groups to stay connected, share ideas and support those in need.
- Create the Good
- Create the Good connects people with volunteer opportunities and project ideas to share your life experiences, skills and passions in your community.
AARP Resources for Family Caregivers
- AARP Family Caregiving Website (en español: aarp.org/cuidar)
- AARP’s Family Caregiving website is your one-stop shop for tips and tools to help you care for a loved one. It has valuable information about handling medical issues, health records and advance directives, home safety, financial and legal issues, caregiver life balance and much more.
- AARP Family Caregiving Resource Line (877-333-5885 toll-free, en español: 888-971-2013 toll-free)
- Connect with a real person and learn how to access local resources via our toll-free family caregiving hotline.
- Community Resource Finder
- Community Resource Finder, a joint service from the Alzheimer’s Association and AARP, is a database of dementia- and aging-related resources powered by Carelike. The online tool makes it easy to find local programs and services.
- I Heart Caregivers
- Join the thousands of family caregivers who have shared their experiences through AARP’s storytelling initiative, I Heart Caregivers. Your story will help AARP continue to fight for more support for family caregivers.
- AARP HomeFit Guide
- The AARP HomeFit Guide can help individuals and families make their current or future residence age-friendly. It can also help elected officials, policymakers and local leaders learn about and advocate for the types of housing features and designs that communities need so that their residents can live safely and comfortably and thrive.
If you have thoughts about how AARP can improve this resource guide, we invite you to go to aarp.org/preparetocaresurvey (en español: aarp.org/encuestacuidador).