Most of us, at some point in our lives, will be a caregiver to a family member or friend. You are a caregiver if you:
- Buy groceries, cook, clean house or do laundry for someone who needs special help doing these things.
- Help a family member get dressed, take a shower and take medicine.
- Help with transferring someone in and out of bed, help with physical therapy, injections, feeding tubes or other medical procedures.
- Make medical appointments and drive to the doctor and drugstore.
- Talk with the doctors, care managers and others to understand what needs to be done.
- Spend time at work handling a crisis or making plans to help a family member who is sick.
Family caregivers increasingly provide care for aging parents, siblings and friends, most of whom have one or more chronic conditions and who wish to remain in their own homes and communities as they age. Others belong to the "sandwich generation," caring for children and parents at the same time.