Common Questions

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Who should use CaregiverGPS – The Elder’s Advocate?

CaregiverGPS – The Elder’s Advocate is intended to help anyone who is a caregiver and is facing critical transition points in the care of their loved one.

Who is a “caregiver”?

A caregiver is anyone who provides assistance to another person who cannot live fully independently due to physical, psychological, or mental frailty. Caregiving activities cover a broad range, from visiting every few days and/or providing occasional help with chores to living with someone full-time in order to provide on-going assistance with daily needs.

How can I use CaregiverGPS – The Elder’s Advocate?

Quick Checklist:

  • Select a topic.
  • Read the Introductory/Important Information.
  • Complete the Situation Review. 
  • Log in to save your responses if you do not complete the Situation Review.
  • When you complete the Situation Review, click on the Print Answers button to get a print out of your responses and a guide to interpreting them. You can email the Situation Review and the guide to yourself or to someone else if the computer you are using isn’t connected to a printer.
  • Consider your options in light of your responses to the Situation Review.
  • Find resources in the Guide to Interpreting Your Responses to the Situation Review and on the Resources page. You can print out the Resources page and refer to it as you need to.

The six topics of the CaregiverGPS – The Elder’s Advocate website reflect “transition points” in the care of a loved one.  The tools in each topic are designed to help you identify issues that are be important to think about in making decisions regarding the care your loved one’s care needs, consider your and your loved one’s preferences and values regarding possible options, identify the information that you have and the information you may still need to get, and help you find resources.

Start by selecting the topic that addresses the issue that you and your loved one are now facing. The first page will provide you with basic information that you need in thinking about your choices. From there you go to a  Situation Review containing a series of statements designed to guide your consideration of your loved one’s needs and preferences, the information you have and the information you need to get, and the resources you currently have available to you.  Each statement is followed by several possible responses. Click on the response that is most accurate for you. Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers!

When you have completed the Situation Review, you will come to a printer-friendly page that has all the statements in the Situation Review along with your responses. click the “Print Answers” button at the top of the page to print out  the Situation Review with your responses and a Guide to Interpreting Your Responses. The Guide is provided to help you to think about the options that may make sense for you and your loved one in light of your particular responses to the Situation Review. If your computer is not connected to a printer, you can email the Situation Review with your responses and the Guide to yourself to have and review later or you can email to another person whose computer is connected to a printer.

Are there right and wrong responses to the statements in the Situation Reviews?

No! There are no right or wrong responses to the statements in the  Situation Reviews. Each caregiver faces a unique set of circumstances and a unique relationship to the person he or she is caring for. Caregivers will have very different outside obligations, physical and emotional capacities, available resources, and family history. The only purpose of CaregiverGPS -The Elder’s Advocate is to help you determine the course that will be best for you and your loved one.

Do I need to respond to every statement?

You do not need to respond to every statement. Some statements in the Situation Review may not apply to you and some you may not be ready or able to answer. However, the more statements you do respond to, the fuller will be your understanding of where you and your loved one are with regard to the decision that you are facing.

If I need to leave a Situation Review before completing it, can I save my responses and come back later?

Yes.  If you need to leave a Situation Review before you have completed it, you can save your responses and come back to finish it later simply by logging in. The log in button is at the top of each page. You can log in using your aol, yahoo, gmail, or open ID user name or you can create a CaregiverGPS account.  If you log in before leaving the CaregiverGPS website, when you log back in your responses will still be there.

Can I use CaregiverGPS – The Elder’s Advocate as often as I need to?

Absolutely! Caregivers often have many questions so it makes sense to use any of the tools that might be helpful to you. And, over time, your situation might change and the decisions you are facing may change as well. Use CaregiverGPS – The Elder’s Advocate as often as you need to and whenever you think it would be helpful to take another look at where you and your loved one are regarding the choices that are available for you.

Will CaregiverGPS – The Elder’s Advocate tell me what I should do?

No. The CaregiverGPS – The Elder’s Advocate website is not intended to tell you what you should do. Rather, it is intended to help you think about the best option for you and your loved one by pointing out important things to consider in making a decision, identifying information that you have as well as information that you still need to gather, helping you to identify the resources that you have as well as those you do not have and where you may find help.

 How can I use the print-out of my responses?                                                                                                                                                       

When you have completed the Situation Review you will find Next Steps on how to print out your responses and a guide to interpreting them. You can use the print-out of your responses along with the accompanying Guide to Interpreting Your Responses to get a clearer picture where you are and of the things you might not yet have considered but that might be helpful to think about in making the decision you are facing. It will let you know where you may need to get more information from your loved one or others. You can also use the print-out to determine what resources will be helpful to you.

Will I be able to find helpful resources once I have completed a Situation Review?

The Guide to Interpreting Your Responses will include website links for relevant resources.  Clicking on the “Next” link on the printer-friendly version of the Situation Review will open a page of additional resources for that topic. The resources provided for each topic will give you a starting point for finding the information and supports that will be helpful to you. Becoming aware of the resources that are available for you and your loved one may help you weigh the options you have. Second, after you have made a decision, identifying available resources will help you in carrying out your decision.