Who is a Caregiver?
If you are reading these words, it is likely you are a caregiver. There are no strict definitions or standards of care giving that apply to all situations. There is no registration or official designation and the title comes with few perks or bonuses. Whether legally recognized or not, “Family Caregiver” implies that responsibility is assumed without pay and there is a sense of duty to provide care for an adult with some impairment, often age-related. The “intensity” of care giving can vary depending on the needs of the person needing care and the ability of the provider to meet those needs.
The Care Receiver
If someone is providing care for you, remain as active in the decision making as you are able. Some conditions (a broken bone, for example) require a lot of help but you are fully aware and able to direct your own care – and you expect to recover. Other conditions may be progressive or affect your ability to make good judgments. Even then you should not avoid ALL decisions. You can still give your input.
Who Else is in the Same Boat?
• The vast majority of adults (78%) in the U.S. who receive long-term care at home get all their care from unpaid family and friends.
• 34 million adults provide care to adults 50+ years.
• An estimated 59% to 75% of caregivers are female.
• Of caregivers who live with their care recipients, spouses account for about 62% of primary caregivers while adult children comprise 26%. Secondary caregivers are more likely to be adult children (46%) than spouses (16%).
– Information Courtesy of the Caregiver Coalition of San Diego.