Thinking About Caregiving for a Family Member? What You Need to Know

Posted on 11/03/20

Deciding to become a caregiver for a family member or other loved one can lead to numerous questions. But where to start? 

Handsome son sitting in the garden with his sick old mother

AARP New Mexico will highlight what you need to know to prepare for this journey during a special presentation as part of the Alzheimer’s Association New Mexico Chapter’s 16 Annual New Mexico Caregiver Conference, taking place virtually this Friday, Nov. 6 and Saturday, Nov. 7.

AARP New Mexico is a sponsor of this free event. The first day is designed for professional caregivers while the second day is focused primarily on family or unpaid caregivers. Registration is required.

“In New Mexico, we have 277,000 people at any given time doing some aspect of unpaid caregiving for a family member. While many people don’t think twice about offering this kind of care, AARP wants to let them know that there are resources available that can make things a little easier,” said Gary Williams, Associate State Director for Community Outreach. Williams will be leading the presentation, “Prepare to Care: a Caregiver Resource Guide” at the conference.  

“Too often people don’t give much thought to what becoming a caregiver entails,” Williams said.  “It either comes on gradually as your loved one starts needing more and more help, or because it’s family, you just do what needs to be done.”

“But AARP’s Prepare to Care guide can put really valuable tools into your hands to make that process a little bit easier. From sitting down and talking with your loved one before a crisis occurs and learning what their thoughts or expectations might be; to figuring out finances; and where to find support when you need it, these are all things that need to be considered,”  he said.

In addition, to Williams’ presentation, AARP New Mexico State Director Joseph P. Sanchez, PhD., will also be giving opening remarks.

“AARP New Mexico is proud to be a sponsor for this important event,” Sanchez said. “Like AARP, the Alzheimer’s Association has made caregiving and support for family caregivers a priority. We have also worked together on policy issues that make the lives of family caregivers a little easier.”

“As we move forward, we hope to build on this important partnership to help provide as many resources as we can so loved ones can stay at home where they would much rather be,” he said.

The Alzheimer’s Association conference for professionals is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, and for family caregivers, from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Saturday. To register visit https://www.alz.org/newmexico/helping_you/caregiver-conference

Williams will have two Sessions – one from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Friday, for professionals, with a second Saturday, from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. for family caregivers.

To learn more about what AARP has to offer caregivers visit https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/

This story is provided by AARP New Mexico. Visit the AARP New Mexico page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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