As Rosalyn Cater famously said:
"There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers."
This guide is part of a series. Our other guides are:
US health care systems are complex and confusing for everyone, and can become more so as we age. This recent radio program from station WBUR in Boston highlights many of the issues that seniors - and their caregivers - worry about. Listen and read at the link below:
But caregiving is not just for seniors. Most of us care for other people throughout our lives, in many different ways. This guide uses the National Cancer Institute's broad definition of caregiver as "person who gives care to people who need help taking care of themselves". This guide focuses on caring for people later in their lives, at whatever age that might be.
That care takes many forms. The Atlas of Caregiving's categories list the kinds of activities that come first to mind - household chores, personal help with the activities of daily life, social and emotional support - but also healthcare management, coordinating care, and financial assistance. Caregivers can be unpaid or paid, professional carers or family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, volunteers or members of caring organizations.
We believe that being well-informed is key to taking better care of health (our own, and of our loved ones), and empowers us to work more effectively with our health care professionals.
PlaneTree Health Library strives to guide the public to trustworthy, accurate, and free-to-use health and medical information. Links on these webpages have been chosen from authoritative and reputable non-commercial sites (nonprofit organizations, medical specialty groups, or government agencies). All of that information is freely accessible. We never link to advertisements and we avoid infomercials.
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