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A Good Caregiver

We want to highlight the importance of caregivers. A caregiver is a person who provides any type of physical and/or emotional care for an ill or disabled person at their home. Loved ones in need of care include those suffering from a physical or mental illness, disability, substance misuse, or other condition. In most cases, the primary caregiver is a spouse, partner, parent, or adult child. Caregivers often take on the responsibilities of the patient while still providing for themselves and other family members.

Advocate. Sometimes patients are not completely forthcoming with their physical or emotional needs and tend to downplay their pain when speaking with doctors. Caretakers play an important role in honest communication between doctors and patients by upholding patient preferences for treatment options when the patient cannot or will not speak for him or herself.

Personal Care. The caregiver may help with daily activities such as dressing, bathing, toileting, or arranging child care.

Household Tasks. Caregivers are often in charge of preparing meals, doing chores or laundry, shopping for groceries or paying bills.

Emotional Support. When faced with a serious diagnosis, patients are often overwhelmed by the emotional and physical turmoilCaregivers are tasked with the important duty of providing support and encouragement for the patients as well as themselves. Communication is key in the relationship between a caregiver and a patient. It is important to both openly share feelings and remain empathetic to the situation.

Medical Care. Caregivers must be present, take notes, ask questions, and assist loved ones in making decisions with the care team. They may also be responsible for administering, ordering, and picking up medication, providing transportation to appointments, and dealing with scheduling, billing, or insurance issues. Caregivers may also assist with other medical processes such as physical therapy, injections, feeding tubes, etc.

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