If you are going to be a caregiver for an elderly family member, there are some important things that you need to do before you get started.

Being a caregiver for an elderly person is not easy. It takes a lot of time and can come with emotional and financial costs. That is even more likely for people who become caregivers for their elderly family members.

There are a few things that people can do before becoming a caregiver to make things easier.

Recently, Forbes discussed some helpful pointers for caregivers in “4 Critical Things To Do Before Becoming A Caregiver,” including:

  • Make sure you have all of the elderly person’s legal, financial and medical documents. You need to know where the person has their bank accounts. You need to have powers of attorney. You need to know who the elderly person’s doctors are.
  • Make sure your own finances are in good order. You might want to take some time off of work at the beginning of your caregiving, so make sure that you understand the FMLA.
  • Make a personal care agreement with the elderly person. This is a written statement about what the expectations are. While not a legal document, this will help give everyone peace of mind and make the transition easier.
  • Have your own support team in place. Caregiving is not easy. Make sure that you have people who can support you when you need it. You should enlist the aid of friends, family and organizations for the elderly.

Reference: Forbes (Jan. 22, 2017) “4 Critical Things To Do Before Becoming A Caregiver.”