Family Caregivers

A family caregiver is a family member or friend that serves as the primary source of support for an impaired elderly person. In most cases this is a spouse and 72% of the time the primary caregivers are women.

10 Needs of Caregivers
  1. Information about community resources
  2. Help with feelings of resentment and guilt
  3. Help with dealing with the patient’s feelings of loneliness and depression
  4. Information about the person’s diagnosis and prognosis
  5. Respite care (A break from caregiving)
  6. Diet and nutrition information
  7. Information about where to get legal advice
  8. Help with housekeeping, cooking, house and lawn maintenance
  9. Spiritual comfort
  10. The promise that someone else cares about and supports their care giving work
7 Signs of Caregiver Burnout
  1. Not eating properly
  2. Becoming more emotional
  3. Feeling overwhelmed
  4. Starting to withdraw
  5. Interacting less with peers
  6. Having less mental focus at work
  7. Having a disheveled unkempt appearance
Training & Information
Information and training for caregivers will improve the quality of care they can provide for their relative or friend. These topics include:
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Feeding
  • Grooming
  • Moving around
  • Toileting
  • Transfers (from bed to wheelchair)
You will learn hands on training for assistance with medication and operating medical devices for day to day living and a knowledge of the condition of the relative or friend to be able to monitor physical signs and symptoms. CPR training is a good idea.

Some basic safety adaptations to the home may be needed such as access ramps, grab bars near toilets, or walk-in showers.

Other Activities of Daily Life

Important to caregivers as well as those needing care include:
  • Contributions to family, home, and community activities
  • Conversation and socialization
  • Life recall and life planning
  • Music
  • Physical activity / movement