Compassion and Support


Patients & Families

Caregiver Support - Patients & Families

Informal or family caregiving is a major public health issue with a growing impact on the health-related quality of life of millions of Americans.

Generally, informal caregivers are individuals who provide assistance - usually unpaid - to family members, neighbors or friends whose chronic physical or mental impairments interfere with activities of daily living.  Caregivers may live with or near their loved one, or may provide caregiving from a distance.

Activities of daily living are defined as the things we normally do, such as feeding ourselves, bathing, dressing, grooming, working, homemaking and participating in leisure and social activities.

Caregivers help with personal care and everyday activities such as cleaning, laundry, mowing the lawn, paying bills and money management, grocery shopping and cooking meals.  They may assist with coordination of medical care and appointments, transportation, securing prescriptions, but may also engage in more complex health-related tasks, such as medication management and wound care.

Family caregivers are the backbone of long-term care services in the United States.  They fill the major gaps fueled by an aging population, advancing technology that extends life expectancy, shorter hospital stays that discharge patients earlier and healthcare work force shortages.

Make time for yourself, so you can take care of your loved one.

Despite its benefits and rewards, such as satisfaction in helping others and companionship, caregiving can also bring emotional, health and financial challenges.  Too often, informal caregivers do not have enough time for themselves, as they are balancing work and family responsibilities.

Respite care provides the much needed temporary break from the exhausting challenges faced by the family caregiver caring for loved ones who might otherwise require permanent placement in a facility outside the home.

Emotional stress contributes to both physical and mental health problems.  Read Caregiving Tips from Dr. Pat Bomba.

Key Resources


Disease Specific