The costs of providing care are high and demands on a caregiver's time are significant. Even if you are not a caregiver currently, there is a good chance you will be at some point in your life. Use the information and resources on this page to help you learn about caregiving and make a plan for financial security.

Characteristics of a Caregiver

People often take for granted the amount of time, effort and money they put into caregiving and do not necessarily recognize how or if they are providing care. You are a caregiver if you:

  • Help a family member or friend with medications
  • Go grocery shopping for or with someone
  • Take a friend or family member to doctor visits and help interpret MD’s instructions
  • Check on a friend or family members dietary needs
  • Care for someone long distance
  • Help with cleaning or laundry
  • Provide care for a family member in your home or theirs

Cost of Caregiving

Once a person starts caregiving, there are often conflicting demands of work and eldercare. The financial strains for a caregiver can include:

  • Part-time work
  • Declining promotions
  • Declining travel or training
  • Reduction in savings, investments, and retirement funds

The cost of caregiving is not only financial, caregiving can also take a toll on your mental health. Go to our Mental Health Resources page to find resources available through your employer and the Group Health Insurance Program.

Caregiving Tools

Type a keyword in the box below to navigate quickly and narrow down the table of information. Click on the orange title to be taken to the tool. Looking for a website? Go to the Caregiving Websites list below.

Financial Steps for Caregivers: What You Need to Know About Protecting Your Money and Retirement In response to the financial challenges facing today’s family caregiver, this guide from Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement provides information, tips and resources for helping caregivers keep their own finances on track while caring for someone else. Budget worksheet included.


AARP Checklist for Family Caregivers

The checklist takes you step by step through what you need and why. You can personalize the to-do lists on paper or electronically for your caregiving team - family, friends, aides, and medical, financial and legal professionals.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Managing someone else’s money guides The guides help you understand your role as a financial caregiver, also called a fiduciary. Each guide explains your responsibilities as a fiduciary, how to spot financial exploitation and avoid scams. Each guide also includes a “Where to go for help” section with a list of relevant resources.
National Council on Aging: BenefitsCheckUp BenefitsCheckUp® is a comprehensive, free online tool that connects older adults with benefits they may qualify for. Get started by entering your zip code.
Eldercare Locator A public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging connecting you to services for older adults and their families. Find help in your community by entering your zip code OR city and state.
Five Wishes Advance Directive Five Wishes is an easy-to-use legal advance directive document written in everyday language. It helps all adults, regardless of age or health, to consider and document how they want to be cared for at the end of life. 
Extra Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs
(Social Security website)

The Medicare Prescription Drug program gives you a choice of prescription plans that offer various types of coverage.

You may be able to get extra help to pay for the monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and co-payments related to the Medicare Prescription Drug program. However, you must be enrolled in a Medicare Prescription Drug plan to get this extra help.

Caregiving Websites

Type a keyword in the box below to navigate quickly and narrow down the table of information. Click on the orange title to be taken to the website.

WISER: Caregiving The Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement page provides information for women about caregiving and controlling finances.
AARP: Caregiving The American Association of Retired Persons offers a variety of resources and information to help you with caregiving along with a place to help those who aren't sure where to start.
Family Caregiver Alliance: National Center on Caregiving The mission of Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) is to improve the quality of life for family caregivers and the people who receive their care. For over 40 years, FCA has provided services to family caregivers of adults with physical and cognitive impairments, such as Parkinson’s, stroke, Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Services include assessment, care planning, direct care skills, wellness programs, respite services, and legal/financial consultation vouchers.
Compassion and Choices A nonprofit organization that improves care, expands options and empowers everyone to chart their end-of-life journey.
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Find a hospice or palliative care professional and resources to help people make decisions about end-of-life care and services before a crisis.
The Conversation Project An initiative of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to help everyone talk about their wishes for care through the end of life, so those wishes can be understood and respected. Guides for starting a conversation, choosing and being a health care proxy, talking with a health care team, and more.


Wisconsin’s Family Caregiver Support Programs

Located in every county and tribe in the state, the Wisconsin's Family Caregiver Support Programs provide information and assistance to help people better care for their loved ones - and themselves. Information includes arranging for services and helping families understand their options for care.
Wisconsin Department of Health – Family Caregiver Program A list of caregiving support programs in Wisconsin and what help they provide.
Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) Consumer Page Information about local aging and disability resource centers, what services are provided and how to find one in your area.
Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources, Inc. – Family Caregiver Support A nonprofit agency committed to supporting the successful delivery of aging programs and services in 70 counties and 11 tribes in Wisconsin. They provide aging lead agencies in our service area with training, technical assistance, and advocacy to ensure the availability and quality of programs and services to meet the changing needs of older people in Wisconsin.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers Workshop – Information (Search for workshop by county in WI) A 6-week(once a week) educational workshop for people who are taking care of a family member or friend designed to support the family caregiver and improve his or her well-being. Use their resources or find a workshop to attend.
Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups: Eldercare Law Center An advocate on behalf of seniors who provide direct victim services around issues affecting seniors through the programs of the Elder Law Center. They also provide education and services at the local, state and national levels through training and publications.

Disclaimer:  Mention of a trademark, proprietary product, or commercial firm in text or figures does not constitute an endorsement by the State of Wisconsin or the Department of Employee Trust Funds and does not imply approval to the exclusion of other suitable products or firms.