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What Is a Caregiver?

A caregiver is an individual who helps another person who needs assistance in his daily activities. A caregiver’s duties are varied, ranging from preparing meals to helping the patient move around. A caregiver may be a paid employee or a volunteer helper.

Due to the wide variety of tasks that a caregiver may have to do, the qualifications to become caregiver can vary as well. Some caregivers do not need to have a medical degree, although some training needs to be had as well. For example, there are caregivers who only provide assistance in terms of giving their patients a bath or helping them bathe themselves. A caregiver may also help a patient do errands such as shopping and paying the bills. Other light tasks may include driving the patient around to social activities, do some light chores at home, prepare meals, and so on.

In cases where the patient may have a medical condition which needs more careful attention, the caregiver needs to have special medical training. This is necessary in cases where the patient needs to be given regular injections or shots, for example.

There are many individuals who offer their services as paid caregivers. Regarding the payment, the patient may pay the caregiver directly. Alternatively, the patient may seek financial assistance from a private institution or the government so that caregiver costs are subsidized.

Also, it is not uncommon to see family members and friends who will take on the tasks of a caregiver. In this case, these individuals may take turns in providing the assistance that their family member/friend needs.

Featured in Health