The Four Stages of Caregiving

One of the hardest things about being a caregiver is isolation, the sense of being alone with a difficult job to do. To help you know that you are not alone and that there are resources to help you, we have written a Caregiver Handbook that includes The Four Stages of Caregiving. We hope this online version of the The Four Stages of Caregiving makes it easier for you to identify your needs, make educated decisions, find relief, and have the best caregiving experience possible.

The Four Stages of Caregiving covers caregiving from beginning to heavy home care to nursing homes and end-of-life care. Each stage opens with a short overview about what to expect followed by caregiving topics appropriate for that stage. You may see yourself in one of these stages, and planning ahead may make it easier to face the next stage with confidence. Caregiving issues are explained. Pinellas and Pasco County resources of many types are described. Some state and national resources are mentioned, also.

The Four Stages of Caregiving can be read like a step-by-step instruction manual for caregiving, one stage after another, or you may want to read the overviews and then skip around, choosing a topic that interests you and saving the rest for another time. Each of the four stages is listed below with a short description of what is covered.

Click on the links below to go to the opening page of each of The Four Stages of Caregiving. When that page comes up, an overview of what to expect will be followed by links to articles that may be helpful at that stage:

Stage One: Getting Started
Recognize the impact of caregiving on your life and family, learn how to be a caregiver, and find out more about the older person who needs care.

Stage Two: Finding Help
Accept help from family, friends, place of worship, support groups, and formal services. Learn about help for working caregivers.

Stage Three: Heavy Care
Prevent caregiver burnout and injury while providing heavy-duty care, protect your care receiver’s health and safety, and consider facility care.

Stage Four: Letting Go
Resolve relationships, complete end-of-life decisions, use Hospice care, let yourself grieve, care for yourself, and have a plan for your life after caregiving has ended.

If you would like to download and print a copy of the Caregiver Handbook, it is available on the Documents and Publications page of this website. Each section can be downloaded separately as an Adobe pdf file. There is also a link to free Adobe Reader software to enable you to access the publication. (If you have an older version of the software, you may need to upgrade in order to read the files.)