Q: Am I a caregiver? What does that even mean?
A: If you are on this site, then you probably are a caregiver. Let me answer your question with my own questions: Do you help a loved one organize medications, go grocery shopping, manage finances, clean up the house, get around town, or even get dressed and washed up? Do you check in a couple times a week or even every day to see if your loved one is ok? Is there someone in your house that you keep one ear out for in case they need something?

These are the daily activities of a caregiver. There are people who do this professionally and are paid to take care of someone, but most people that are called "caregivers" are just a loving relative or friend. We see people who are taking care of a parent, a spouse, a sibling, an aunt or uncle, or even just a neighbor or friend. You might think you are just doing what any decent person would do, but hey, now you have an official title! By recognizing yourself as a caregiver for someone you love, you acknowledge the important role you play in their life and gain access to many supportive resources.

Q: I'm new to this, where should I start?
A: Try our Where to Start page! We update it all the time with shortcuts to the things that are most important to you.

Q: I've been doing this for years, but I'm feeling burned out. What should I do?
A: You're not the only one. A recent survey in Allegheny County found that many caregivers provide 35 hours of help to their loved one each week for five years--that's like a second, full-time but unpaid job! If you are feeling burned out, the first thing to do is remember that being tired and cranky does NOT make you a bad or uncaring person. The second thing to do is reach out for support. Whether you reach out to the Area Agency on Aging for resources or to us at the CFI program for free coaching, getting some support means you will be able to take care of your loved one longer and better...without losing yourself in the process.

Q: Is there help available?
A: Yes, there is! There are many resources out there, and new resources available every day. If you live in Allegheny county, are feeling overwhelmed by all this and want a hand, give us a call. Another good first step is to talk to the Area Agency on Aging. Finally, check in with our blog to get updates on resources and tips.

Q: Can I just call you and ask my questions?
A: We are professionals with full-time day jobs, but our goal is to offer support to as many caregivers as possible. If your loved one lives in Allegheny County and is 60 or older, we may be able offer you free coaching through our CFI program. Either way, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to answer your questions and help you figure out where to start.