What is a Family Caregiver Anyway?

family caregiver

Am I a family caregiver?

We often hear that family caregivers don’t think of themselves as caregivers. They think of themselves as caring daughters, sons, grandchildren, cousins, neighbors, or friends.

When caring for an older adult, it’s important to understand that you’re a family caregiver because that helps you get the support you need.

 

Family caregiver vs caregiver

There’s a difference between the terms family caregiver and caregiver. Caregivers are hired to provide care to people they do not know. They’re doing this job because it’s their career.

Family caregivers take care of a family member, relative, friend, or neighbor. They’re not doing it as a form of employment and aren’t interested in getting paid to give that same care to a stranger.

 

4 types of family caregivers

These are some common types of family caregivers and their main responsibilities. Your own role could have any combination of responsibilities.
1. Hands-on caregiver

  • You provide care whenever you can or 24/7. You either visit daily, multiple times a day, or are living in the same house.
  • You’re #1 on the emergency contact list.
  • You assist with activities of daily living – bathing, eating, doctor’s visits, housekeeping, activities, and more.
  • You coordinate care tasks with family members, friends, or hired caregivers.
  • You manage any or all aspects of their lives – medical, financial, legal, or social.

2. Long-distance caregiver

  • You live far away so you can’t visit often, but you do as much as you can to ensure your older adult’s safety and comfort.
  • You may have hired a geriatric care manager or other services to help with local or in-person tasks.
  • For those needing daily help or in a facility, you manage in-home care providers or work with assisted living staff.
  • You coordinate care activities with local family members, friends, or hired caregivers.
  • You manage any or all aspects of their lives – medical, financial, legal, or social.

3. Financial caregiver

  • You don’t manage your older adult’s daily activities and don’t do any hands-on care. You might be part of a larger caregiving team.
  • You focus on taking care of your older adult’s finances, both day-to-day and the longer term planning.
  • This could include: paying bills, dealing with medical insurance, estate planning, trusts, and managing assets.

4. Legal caregiver

  • You don’t manage your older adult’s daily activities and don’t do any hands-on care. You might be part of a larger caregiving team.
  • You focus on making sure all your older adult’s legal paperwork is current and that all the necessary forms have been completed.
  • This could include: powers of attorney, will, living will, estate planning, trusts, and POLST.

 

By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Free Wallpaper

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