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 our health (and our families), and 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 avoid infomercials.
PlaneTree Health Library itself is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, funded by our community since 2007. We don't take advertisements, and our recommendations are independent of any commercial relationship.
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While PlaneTree Health Library strives to guide you to reliable, valid, up-to-date information, every person's situation is unique. Be sure to discuss information gathered from these resources with your health care providers to see if it is appropriate. Health and medical information accessed through these websites is not intended to substitute for or to replace the advice or instruction of a health care professional. Likewise, legal and financial information is provided for educational purposes only. These webpages are no substitute for professional legal, financial, or social work advice.
PlaneTree Health Library is not responsible for the content on websites accessed from our site. Each originating organization has sole responsibility for its web pages/ Our intention is to provide patients, their families, and caregivers with trustworthy intofmation to help them make informed decisions.