What Does It Mean To Be a Caregiver?

Caregiving is a term that tends to be thrown around without a lot of thought. So what does it actually mean to be a caregiver and how can you be the best caregiver possible?

Caregiving is one of those terms that tends to get thrown around without much thought. We don’t spend enough time thinking about what it means to be a caregiver.

Is it a full time job? Is it occasional check-ins over the phone? Is it medical? Is it educational? Is it physical support? Emotional support? Financial support? Is it a mix of things?

There are heaps of articles on the topic, but the answer is as nebulous as it ever was. We know that nearly everyone will care for someone at some point in their life, but there is still no categorical definition of what that actually means.

There are, however, a few things we at least think we know. For one, caregivers are empathetic. They understand and feel for other humans. They may be selfish at times (aren’t we all?), but ultimately they want to help those they love to live full and robust lives because they truly do care.

We also know that caregivers wear a lot of hats. They are doers. Within the same day they can be nurse, chef, maid, chauffeur, and friend. They are a flexible bunch and they may not even realize how much they are doing while they are entrenched in the day to day.

And finally, caregivers are quite attune to recognizing the challenges that come along with care, while also maintaining a bright disposition, knowing that it is all worthwhile in the end. They are positive thinkers. It’s all about those shining moments that come just when you need them most.

We Are All Caregivers

Here at WayWiser, we tend to think that we are all caregivers in our own right. In fact, our Director of Strategic Aging Initiatives, Amy Chidester, recently shared her thoughts on the subject in a live webinar.

While the start of Amy’s exceptional talk leads us in with a discussion of what it means to be a caregiver, the ultimate resolution is that we are all caregivers in some respect, which leads us to the question, “so, how can I be the best caregiver possible?”

In response to this critical question, she developed our proprietary “Caregiving SmartList” and made it available to anyone who attended the live webinar. This SmartList runs you through the dozens of items that need to be considered when you start caring for an older adult like your mom or dad.

If you’d like to watch the webinar or download the Caregiving SmartList, you can find it right here on our website. Enter your email for instant access and we’ll send you a pdf to download as well.

Have another question? Ask an expert.

Our team is here for you. If you have a question about caring for an older adult or other member of your family—be it physical, legal, medical, financial, or anything in between—we’ll have one of our Trusted Advisors get back to you ASAP.

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