Sometimes you become a caregiver gradually over the years, sometimes it is sudden and unexpected. A child with a handicap, a frail parent...

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Sometimes you become a caregiver gradually over the years, sometimes it is sudden and unexpected.

A child with a handicap, a frail parent, a spouse who suffers a stroke, or an injured friend could make you a caregiver — someone who helps aging, ill or disabled relatives or friends manage their daily lives.

To help you with your role, get a free caregiver kit developed by AssistGuide Information Services, a business that works with government and nonprofit agencies, insurance companies and other long-term care facilities to provide online information on services for elderly and disabled people.

The kit includes checklists; tips on communicating; reminders about which records and documents you might need; and advice on taking care of yourself while caring for another.

There also is a list of questions to help you get started such as, “What are your loved ones wishes and preferences?” and questions to assess your loved one’s needs, such as, “Will he or she likely need a skilled nursing facility or nursing home in the future?”

To download and printout the kit, go to www.agis.com/caregiverkit.