Who Is A Family Caregiver?

Family caregivers provide unpaid care for a loved one in their home. They can be parents, grandparents, adult children, spouses, siblings, or other family members. They provide care for anyone across the lifespan, infant to elderly. Many caregivers are supporting both young and old loved ones. Caregivers provide in-home monitoring, management, supervision, and/or treatment.

Common caregiver tasks include:

  • Buying groceries
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning house
  • Doing laundry
  • Providing transportation
  • Helping with dressing
  • Helping with bathing
  • Helping with medications
  • Transfering into/out of bed/chair
  • Performing medical interventions—injections, feeding tubes, wound treatment, breathing treatments
  • Arranging medical appointments
  • Transporting to medical appointments
  • Waiting during medical appointments
  • Monitoring medications
  • Talking with medical professionals to understand what needs to be done
  • Spending time handling crises and arranging for assistance
  • Making emergency trips
  • Handling financial and legal matters
  • Being a companion
  • Being on call 24/7
Color image of a real life young physically impaired Cerebral Palsy patient being fed by his mother.
Caregiving often creeps up on you. Gradually, you are doing more and more. At some point, you realize you have made a commitment to take care of someone else. Caregiving has become a new career for which you have had little or no training. Meanwhile, the new demands on you can lead to stress, fatigue, anxiety, isolation, guilt, even depression. This is where respite comes in.
To get an idea of how the stresses of caregiving are affecting you, take our caregiver burden assessment.