Are you a Caregiver?

A counter response to the caption question would be, Who is a caregiver? The illustration below is taken from


Caregiving is best defined by what the caregiver does. If she is involved in caring for people with disabilities; people with mental illness; people who are chronically ill; people who are terminally ill or suffering from life-limiting illnesses; people caring for older persons who are having difficulties coping with activities of daily living any of the above qualifies, as a caregiver.

Caregiving can be incredibly rewarding — but it’s also hard work, physically and emotionally. If you don’t take enough self-care to replenish yourself, then caregiver stress, anxiety, and depression can build.

“Caregiving requires a certain amount of selflessness, but it’s important for caregivers to know their limits,” says Ken Robbins, a geriatric psychiatrist at the University of Wisconsin who’s also board certified in internal medicine. “Caregivers can become so focused on the person they’re assisting that they neglect their own needs.”

Caregiver burnout interferes with your ability to function. Burnout also raises your risk of chronic depression and other mental and physical ailments, from hypertension and flu to diabetes, stroke, or even premature death. Caregiver burnout is also a leading cause of nursing home placement when run-down caregivers become too depleted to manage caregiving demands.



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