Caregiving at Home

Your essential resource guide to becoming an effective family caregiver

Caregiving for a loved one with a physical or cognitive disability at home is not easy. You may be new to the role and feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility or you may have been a caregiver for a while. Regardless, trying to be as prepared as possible for each step along the way can make a huge difference not only for your own well-being, but also for your care recipient.

CareAware, a family support service of CICOA, equips non-professional family caregivers to meet the emotional, physical and logistical demands of caregiving with insights, resources and practical advice.

Whether your caregiving journey began suddenly or developed slowly over time, whether it is short or long term, whether you are physically caring for someone or just managing one  aspect of their life, CICOA can help. Contact us today.


The caregiver role

Help a stressed caregiver

4 Ways to Help Struggling Caregivers

As the U.S. population continues to grow older and live longer, many people find themselves providing for the caregiving needs of aging parents, children with disabilities, or even family friends.…

IADLs and ADLs… What’s the Difference?

My grandmother came to visit us for a week. We always loved spending time with Grandma T., and I had looked forward to this visit since the last one, about…

Importance of Touch

The Importance of Touch

Have you ever thought about the importance of touch? Author Paula Cocozza states, “The pleasantness [of touch] encourages us to keep touching, nourishes babies and binds adults, and threads wellbeing…

Tips Experienced Caregivers

10 Tips From Experienced Caregivers

“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experiences,” wrote American physician and author, Oliver Wendell Holmes. What does this have to do with caregiving? Well, similar to an abstract…

Who You Gonna Call

Who You Gonna Call?

As a caregiver coach for CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions, I’ve seen many new caregivers suddenly in need of information about Home and Community Based Service (HCBS) or other resources…

Questions to ask your care manager

Questions to Ask Your Care Manager

Caregivers (whether new to the role or seasoned with lots of practice) often seem to be unaware of the extensive help that is available to them in the form of…

Running to Win

Running to Win

Are you familiar with the world’s 800+ marathon events annually?  This long-distance foot race of about 26 miles is completed by running, walking or a combination of the two, and…

Good Dirt

Wanted: Good Dirt

Some think it was Plato, others certainly not, but whoever said this seems to have had the right idea: “People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help…

Long-distance caregiving

Three Unique challenges long distance caregivers

Three Unique Challenges of Long-Distance Caregivers

Many people in the United States eventually will find themselves in the role of caregiver. While some are thrust into the role in a crisis situation, others—sometimes without realizing it—slowly…

Managing Change from a Distance

Managing Change From a Distance

Caregiving is challenging, whether near or far away from a loved one. When living in close proximity, caregivers may feel overwhelmed by the routine itself, i.e. the number, frequency and…

Special needs caregiving

Three needs of special needs caregivers

Three Needs of Special Needs Caregivers

Writing or presenting new ideas for parents of children who have been living with disability for any length of time is an enormous challenge, and if you’re one of those…

Indianapolis Museum offers extra help for people with special needs

Indianapolis Museums Offer Extra Help for People with Special Needs

It’s summer time. And, we all need to take a break from our daily routines, whether it’s a weeklong family vacation or even just a day-long staycation. Deciding where to…

Caregiving and mental health

Holiday Meal with Family Member with Dementia

5 Tips to Reduce Stress During the Holidays

The holiday season is here, and you may be feeling the stress of endless to-do lists, travel and other traditions that take place this time of year. If you’re caring…

Woman comforting a caregiver

5 Signs You May Need to Talk to Someone

Caregivers are among the most compassionate and dedicated people we know. The very characteristics that could make someone great at caregiving could also place them at risk. Why? Because caregiving…

Daughter Bringing Groceries to Older Mom

Millennials Are Stepping Up as Caregivers

The profile of caregivers is changing, and more young people are stepping up to care for aging parents and grandparents. A 2020 AARP survey found that 1 in 4 family caregivers are millennials.

Caregiver staying connected during COVID-19

5 Ways to Reduce Caregiver Loneliness During COVID-19

Caregiving can be a lonely experience at any time, and with increased social isolation imposed by coronavirus, caregivers may feel even more disconnected from the outside world. What are some…

Caregiver Stress and Anxiety

Caregivers’ Mental Health: Managing Stress, Anxiety and Depression

There’s a reason flight attendants tell us to put on our oxygen masks first before helping others. The simple fact is, if we run out of oxygen, we’re not going…

Millenial Caregivers

Millennial Caregivers Among Most Stressed, Study Finds

Many of us – in fact, most of us – will feel the effects of caregiving at some point in our lives, regardless of our background, socioeconomic status or location.…

Lonliness Bad for Health

Loneliness Is Bad for Your Health

Loneliness, commonly accepted as part of the human condition, is no stranger to any generation, but it is increasingly familiar in the older population. It’s difficult to pinpoint every cause…

Why We Love Bad News

Why We Love Bad News, and How to Kick the Habit

Plain and simple, all of us are drawn like magnets to sensational headlines and stories of negative and shocking incidents, whether we believe the sources are trustworthy or not. Does…

Bringing Light to Dark Thoughts

Bringing Light to Dark Thoughts

This is not your typical holiday blog post.  This commentary—based NOT on research from the experts but on the personal observation and experience of its author—is for those of us…

In the interest of a healty brain

Just a Thought…in the Interest of a Healthy Brain

Memory loss is one of the most feared consequences of aging.  After all, it’s natural to want to learn and remember new things, make good decisions, interact well socially, and…

Caregiving and home safety

Helping Mom Take Her Medicine

Is It Safe for Mom to Live Alone?

It’s not easy coming to terms with the fact that a parent’s health is declining. Parents often are reluctant to admit they may need help or that they can’t continue…

Fall Prevention for All Ages

Mindful Fall Prevention for All Ages

All of us have fallen at one time or another. My own experiences include more than falling in childhood when learning to walk or ride a bicycle. Remember disco dancing?…

Disaster Planning

Disaster Planning and Dementia

Only a couple of decades ago, the concepts of “emergency preparedness” and “disaster planning” were rarely discussed in public.  Of course, all of us have experienced the required drills at…

Threats of Safety in Home

Threats to Safety in the Home

When observing caregiving situations, we see that it is very often the caregiver—rather than the elder—who is concerned about threats to safety in the home. This is not surprising; many…

Clear the Clutter

Clear the Clutter!

Years ago, I was invited to the home of a brilliant scientist, a retired professor in her nineties who claimed that she had never thrown out a daily newspaper in…

Caregiving and dementia

Caring for seniors holidays COVID-19

Happy Holidays, Caregivers and COVID-19

The holidays can be a happy time for many people. Those living with dementia, however, often feel some agitation or distress during the season because of the many losses they…

Caregiver Redirecting Someone with Dementia

Techniques to Help Calm, Redirect Loved Ones with Dementia

If you have a loved one with dementia, chances are good they may say things that don’t make sense, are inappropriate or even hurtful. It’s a frustrating, confusing and even…

Twiddle Muffs Sensory Tool for People with Alzheimer's and Dementia

Twiddle Muffs: A Sensory Tool for People with Dementia

When Leann Moss was caring for her mother with Alzheimer’s disease, her mother’s hands were often restless, picking at clothing until she rubbed holes in them. Such behavior is common…

ER Dementia Advocate

Seniors With Dementia Need an Advocate in the ER; Indy Doctor Provides Tips

Going to the emergency room is stressful in the best of circumstances. For older adults – especially those with dementia – a trip to the ER can lead to confusion,…

Communicating with person Dementia

Communication Tips for a Loved One with Dementia

Communication—both verbal and nonverbal—is intrinsic to the human experience. Effective communication, however, far from being an innate trait, is a learned skill. Throughout our lifetime, social environments (i.e. parents, teachers,…

Redirect Dementia Related Behaviors

5 Ways to Redirect Dementia-Related Behaviors

If your loved one has dementia, you know that caring for this person can include dealing with undesirable and often unpredictable dementia-related behaviors. As an example, a loved one may…

Learning how to love again

Learning How to Love—Again

Caregiving is no easy task, whether the care recipient is a child, a spouse or an aging parent. Caring for a loved one with dementia can be one of the…

Disaster Planning

Disaster Planning and Dementia

Only a couple of decades ago, the concepts of “emergency preparedness” and “disaster planning” were rarely discussed in public.  Of course, all of us have experienced the required drills at…

Caregiving and finances

Medicare Open Enrollment

5 Tips for Optimizing Your Health Coverage for 2021

For three months before and after your 65th birthday, you have the opportunity to learn your options and sign up for Medicare as your health insurance. Medicare is a monumental perk…

Caregiving and Your Financial Future

Caregiving and Your Financial Future

What happens when a loved one’s needs increase and you, as a caregiver, are faced with the daunting responsibility of providing extensive care? Perhaps caregiving started with transporting the loved…

Senior Finances

Senior Finances…More Than Meets the Eye

Most of us know the importance of an annual eye exam for the purpose of early detection of eye abnormalities and changes in vision.   You might be surprised to learn…

Fun activities to do with your care recipient

Preserving Family Memories

Preserving Memories into Family Treasures: No Time Like the Present

From easy conversations to timeless treasures Dad was a born storyteller. Raised during the Great Depression, serving as a combat soldier in Germany during WWII, and landing in a 40-year…

Let Outdoor Fun Begin

Let the Outdoor Fun Begin!

A caregiver’s days often are harried with fixed responsibilities and countless unanticipated distractions. With so many tasks necessary just to get through a single day, the thought of getting out…

Healing properties of art therapy

The Healing Properties of Art Therapy

If you are a non-artist like many of us (let’s face it, we’re the ones who consistently draw in stick figures and circles, all the while admiring the artistic work…

Indianapolis Museum offers extra help for people with special needs

Indianapolis Museums Offer Extra Help for People with Special Needs

It’s summer time. And, we all need to take a break from our daily routines, whether it’s a weeklong family vacation or even just a day-long staycation. Deciding where to…

Your Next Steps

Get Support Services for Family Caregivers in Central Indiana