Caregiving may be one of the most important, and challenging, roles you’ll ever take on. No matter where you are in your caregiving journey — starting to plan; taking care of a family member in your home, in a facility, or from a distance; or managing end-of-life caregiving responsibilities — having resources at your fingertips will make the process easier.
AARP developed this family caregiver guide with you, the caregiver, in mind and as a starting point to help you find the services and support you might need throughout your journey.
To order a print copy of this online guide, call the toll-free AARP Family Caregiving Resource Line at 877-333-5885 and indicate which state(s) you would like to receive. A copy will be mailed to you.
- Supporting Family Caregivers in Your State
- AARP has a website dedicated to providing you with information about how we’re advocating for caregivers in your state.
- Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) (717-783-1550)
- The Department of Aging oversees local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) and manages programs designed to support older Pennsylvanians, including meal delivery, caregiver support, health and wellness programs, certain in-home care services, Medicare enrollment assistance and elder abuse prevention, among other services.
- Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) (800-692-7462)
- The Department of Human Services maintains several programs and resources for older adults and Pennsylvanians with disabilities, long-term care services and supports, including heating and food assistance and financial and housing help, among other services.
- Pennsylvania 2-1-1 (855-567-5341 toll-free | 2-1-1)
- Pennsylvania 211 connects Pennsylvanians with information about community services near them. They can help residents connect with emergency counseling, disaster assistance, health care and insurance services, housing and utility payment assistance and employment resources, among other things.
- APPRISE – Medicare Counseling (800-783-7067)
- This program connects older Pennsylvanians with trained counselors who can provide free consultations and answer questions related to Medicare and Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Medicaid and long-term care insurance.
- PACE Prescription Assistance Program (800-225-7223)
- The program helps older Pennsylvanians understand their options for accessing low-cost prescription medication.
- Pennsylvania Hospice and Palliative Care Network (PHPCN) (717-533-4002)
- The nonprofit organization advocates for improving end-of-life care and provides Pennsylvanians with training and support services to help loved ones in need.
Home- and Community-Based Resources
- The Pennsylvania Caregiver Support Program (CSP) (717-783-1550)
- The program supports caregivers in the state with information, training, counseling and financial reimbursement for certain out-of-pocket expenses related to their caregiving duties.
- OPTIONS Program (717-783-1550)
- This program helps eligible residents over the age of 60 develop in-home care plans, helping Pennsylvanians manage personal care, meals, medical transportation and home modifications.
- Pennsylvania Living Independence for the Elderly (LIFE) (833-472-5433 toll-free)
- The managed care program connects Pennsylvanians over age 55 with information, training and resources related to caregiving, social services and respite care.
- Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) (800-753-8827)
- Pennsylvania’s ADRC program, known as The Link, connects older and disabled citizens with access to long-term care supports. Link partners work together to connect consumers with all available resources related to care, medication, nutrition, insurance, housing and transportation, and other services for them to continue to live as independently as possible.
- AARP Foundation Benefits QuickLINK
- Find public benefits that can help you pay for food, medicine, health care, utilities and more by using AARP Foundation Benefits QuickLINK tool.
- The Older Pennsylvania Legal Assistance Program (LAP) (717-783-1550)
- LAP is available through your local Area Agency on Aging and offers legal counseling and representation to adults over the age of 60. Legal focuses include abuse, age discrimination and housing issues, among others. Services are free, but clients must pay court costs and filing fees.
- Pennsylvania SeniorLAW Helpline (877-727-7529 toll-free)
- The confidential, toll-free hotline offers legal advice and referrals to Pennsylvanians age 60 and older.
- Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. (PLAN) (800-322-7572)
- PLAN is a statewide network of legal programs that offer legal assistance and information to low-income individuals and families.
- Supporting Caregivers in the Workplace
- AARP offers valuable resources to help employers create a caregiver-friendly workplace.
- Free Transit Program for Seniors (717-783-8025)
- The transit program provides free public transportation to residents over the age of 65.
- Shared-Ride Program (717-783-8025)
- The program allows Pennsylvanians at least 65 years old to coordinate and access curb-to-curb shared-ride services. The program’s prices are less than what they would be for a standard ride-share fare.
- PA Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) (855-827-3466 toll-free)
- The agency offers affordable homeownership and rental apartment options for older adults, low and moderate-income families and people living with disabilities.
Specific Audience Resources
- AARP Caregiving Guides
- AARP offers free caregiving guides for specific audiences, including guides for military families and LGBT individuals. The guides, also offered in Spanish and Chinese, are designed to help develop and implement a caregiving plan.
- Pennsylvania Office of Veterans Affairs (717-861-8910)
- The office offers services and information to veterans and their families, ensuring that they are able to access all of the health, financial and social services available to them.
- National Resource Center on LGBT Aging
- The resource center maintains a database of medical, financial and social-support services available to Pennsylvania’s older LGBTQ residents.
Care for Caregivers
- Community Connections
- AARP Community Connections is a new website that offers steps to get or give help. You can organize online mutual aid groups to stay connected, share ideas and support those in need.
- Create the Good
- Create the Good connects people with volunteer opportunities and project ideas to share life experiences, skills and passions in the community.
AARP Resources for Family Caregivers
- AARP Family Caregiving Website (en español: aarp.org/cuidar)
- AARP’s Family Caregiving website is your one-stop shop for tips and tools to help you care for a loved one. It has valuable information about handling medical issues, health records and advance directives, home safety, financial and legal issues, caregiver life balance and much more.
- AARP Family Caregiving Resource Line (877-333-5885 toll-free, en español: 888-971-2013 toll-free)
- Connect with a real person and learn how to access local resources via our toll-free family caregiving hotline.
- AARP Family Caregivers Facebook Group
- Join the AARP Family Caregivers Discussion Group on Facebook to connect, ask questions and share ideas with other family caregivers.
- Community Resource Finder
- Community Resource Finder, a joint service from the Alzheimer’s Association and AARP, is a database of dementia- and aging-related resources powered by Carelike. The online tool makes it easy to find local programs and services.
- I Heart Caregivers
- Join the thousands of family caregivers who have shared their experiences through AARP’s storytelling initiative, I Heart Caregivers. Your story will help AARP continue to fight for more support for family caregivers.
- AARP Online Caregiving Community
- Join our community and connect with other caregivers like you.
- AARP HomeFit Guide
- The AARP HomeFit Guide can help individuals and families make their current or future residence age-friendly. It can also help elected officials, policymakers and local leaders learn about and advocate for the types of housing features and designs that communities need so that their residents can live safely and comfortably and thrive.
- National Resources for Family Caregivers
- A listing of national agencies, groups and organizations that can connect family caregivers with direct services and supports.
If you have thoughts about how AARP can improve this resource guide, we invite you to go to aarp.org/preparetocaresurvey (en español: aarp.org/encuestacuidador).