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Health library

reviewed 3/31/2018

Caregiving: true or false?

Each year, about 44 million Americans act as caregivers for adult family members and friends—and that number is expected to grow. So what does it meant to be a caregiver? Test your knowledge with this quiz.

True or false: Most caregivers are not trained for the job.

True. Caregivers usually are family members, friends or neighbors of the person they're caring for. In many cases, caregivers come into their new role unprepared, and they provide care with little or no support from others.

True or false: Caregiving is limited to taking care of a person's medical needs.

False. Ensuring that a person takes his or her medicine and gets to scheduled medical appointments may be two tasks on a caregiver's to-do list. But so are shopping; cooking; paying bills; cleaning the house; and helping the person bathe, dress and eat.

True or false: Most caregivers are paid for their work.

False. Some people do receive care from people for whom caregiving is a career. However, most caregivers are unpaid spouses or other family, friends and neighbors.

True or false: Most caregivers live with the person they're caring for.

False. Most caregivers live near the person they're taking care of. However, some people do their caregiving from a distance—coordinating and relying on local resources and services as well as paid help to cover the person's needs.

True or false: Caregiving puts a person's health at risk.

True. For a variety of reasons—such as shorter hospital stays and improved home care technology—today's caregivers may be caring for sicker, frailer people for longer periods of time than ever before. Research suggests that the resulting stress and strain make the caregiver more vulnerable to mental and physical health problems.

If you're a caregiver, it's important to pay attention to your own health too. Check out these suggestions for avoiding or reducing stress.

Read the tips

Sources: American Cancer Society; Family Caregiver Alliance

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