What Defines A Caregiver?

Most people do not plan to become a caregiver, it is something that just happens. The need may come about suddenly and unexpectedly when a loved one is stricken with illness or injury that limits independence or it may materialize slowly and expand over time as one ages and his or her health deteriorates. Usually, caregivers must alter their own lifestyle in some way in order to help their relative or friend.

Caregiver Facts

  • Most caregivers (89 percent) are helping relatives.
  • One in four care recipients lives with his or her caregiver.
  • Nearly 80 percent of care recipients are over age 50.
  • Caregivers say the most common health problems of those they care for over age 50 are diabetes cancer or heart disease.
  • About 25 percent of caregivers helping someone age 50 or older report Alzheimer’s, dementia or some other form of mental confusion is an issue. As a Alzheimer’s caregiver, you must have patience and understanding of their situation.
  • The typical caregiver is a 46-year-old woman who works and spends more than 20 hours per week caring for a relative or friend who lives nearby.

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