We may end up caring for a loved one who cannot care for themselves at some point in our lives. It may start as doing a simple task. Still, as time passes, it may transition into something bigger until eventually you are asking yourself- Am I a caregiver?

If you are providing unpaid care to a frail family member or friend with a serious illness and are performing some or most of the following tasks—you are in a caregiving role.

  • Assisting with activities of daily living that the ill person can no longer manage (dressing, bathing, toileting, feeding)
  • Providing transportation and assistance (for appointments, errands, medical emergencies)
  • Helping with daily activities and maintaining the household (grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, cleaning)
  • Managing finances (paying bills, managing a bank account, budgeting)
  • Participating in medical/nursing care at home (administering medications, performing medical and nursing procedures, communicating with the health care team)
  • Providing emotional support and companionship (talking, reading, listening)
  • Organizing home health care (supervising and communicating with homecare staff).

Most people are not trained to be caregivers, so the prospect of assuming these responsibilities can be challenging. It is normal to feel uncertain or overwhelmed about what is expected of you. Make sure to check in with yourself regularly to gauge how you are feeling. Self-care is just as important as caring for your loved one.

At MJHS, we value both personal and professional caregivers and recognize the critical work you do. That is why we have created these online caregiving resources to help you through this crucial time in your life.

If you need additional help and support caring for your loved one, please feel free to contact MJHS. We can recommend other care options available to you through one of our programs.

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