what is a caregiver?

What is a Caregiver?

What is the definition of a Caregiver?
1. A person who cares for someone who is sick or disabled
2. An adult who cares for an infant or child

Who cares for the Caregiver? Whether you are a caregiver by profession (a nurse, physician, assistant etc.) or you care for someone when you are not working, YOU need to be recognized for everything that you do!

Caregivers put the needs of those they care for ahead of their own and for this reason I write this blog. If you as a caregiver do not take care of yourself FIRST, then how can you expect to care for others with 100% of your efforts?
Here are some effects of Caregiving on Health and Well-Being by Family Caregiver Alliance/ Taking Care of YOU, Self-care for Family Caregivers
-Sleep deprivation
-Poor eating Habits
-Failure to exercise
-Failure to stay in bed when ill
-Postponement of or failure to make medical appointments for themselves

It is imperative to your health and wellness as a caregiver to self analyze your own needs first! Then you can give your all to your care!


Signs of Caregiver stress by the Mayo Clinic Stress Management/Caregiver stress: Tips for taking care of yourself
-Feeling overwhelmed or constantly worried
-Feeling tired often
-Getting too much sleep or not enough sleep
-Gaining or losing weight
-Becoming easily irritated or angry
-Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
-Feeling sad
-Having frequent headaches, bodily pain or other physical problems
-Abusing alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications.

Stress reducing techniques that can help caregivers:

  • Exercise
  • Healthy eating
  • Reducing stimulants, Caffeine, Alcohol, Nicotine
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Support groups for caregivers
  • Improve sleep patterns

All caregivers should take a moment, analyze their own physical and emotional needs, then find ways to improve their own well being. Only then can they be the most effective and healthy caregiver to themselves and others!

Author Info

Karen O'Donnell