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Being a Caregiver

What makes you a caregiver? You don’t need to be a family member or even a close friend to qualify. Just as the word suggests, a caregiver is someone who gives care. As long as you give care, you’re a caregiver.

Before anything else, you should evaluate how much care you are willing and able to give. This will depend on several factors. Think about:

  • what your loved one needs most
  • the type of support you are best suited to provide
  • how much time you can realistically devote
  • what other people (ie, family and friends) can help you with
  • what government and/or private healthcare resources can help you with

Many caregivers are worried or feel guilty about leaving their loved one alone. It’s important to remember that you also have personal responsibilities to keep up with. If you live a considerable distance away, or if you are not able to give as much support as you would like, something as simple as a phone call, email or text message can help lift their spirits.