Caregiver Support | Geriatrics | JAMA Network
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JAMA Patient Page
March 12, 2014

Caregiver Support

JAMA. 2014;311(10):1082. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.1773

As the number of elderly people in the United States continues to grow, more and more individuals will need full-time caregivers at home.

Being a primary caregiver for someone can be a rewarding experience. If the person being cared for is a close friend or family member, often the bonds of friendship and family are strengthened, and costs and resources are saved.

However, being a full-time caregiver can also be difficult. Caregivers often provide help with basic daily activities such as eating, using the bathroom, and bathing. They also manage medications and medical visits. Caregiving can be a 24-hour job without a break. In most cases, the caregiver is a friend or family member and therefore does not have formal training in caregiving. Up to 90% of adults needing long-term care at home are cared for by a family member.