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When caring for a family member or friend, a back up plan is essential. Back up plans are made in advance and can be used when unexpected situations occur.

While there are many joys in caring for a family member or friend, there can also be many frustrations and challenges.

The following legal documents are important to know about: Enduring Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardianship. Each of these has a different and distinct purpose.

Respite is essentially a break - for you and the person you care for. It can restore energy and help you to keep on caring. Respite comes in many forms.

If you are concerned about your older family member living at home alone, you may be starting to think about other living arrangements for them. If your situation allows it, you may also be considering moving in.

If you are concerned about your older family member living in their own home, you may consider suggesting they move in with you - try to resist rushing in before you have thought through the options.

When your family member or friend begins to need more help with day-to-day things, you may start wondering whether they should continue living at home.

Taking on a caring role is just like taking on a new job - there will be rewards as well as challenges. Understanding these can help prepare you for the role you are about to take on.

Some people say that taking on a caring role feels more like a duty or obligation than an active choice. Values, beliefs and perceptions about the 'right thing to do' can make decision making difficult.

People start caring for an older family member or friend in different ways. Some start caring gradually, helping their family member more over time. Others find this happens rather suddenly.