The Caregiving Process

Caregiving is a process that evolves over time. Understanding and anticipating changing situations will help you be a better caregiver.

Caregiving often starts gradually. You may already help someone by:

  • Driving to medical appointments
  • Shopping for groceries
  • Paying bills
  • Doing laundry or housecleaning
  • Cooking meals

Over time you may provide more care. You may share the responsibility with other family members or friends, or you may do it all, perhaps even providing round-the-clock care. Caring for another person can involve:

  • Feeding or bathing
  • Helping use the bathroom
  • Supervising medications
  • Hiring other people to provide care
  • Arranging all medical care
  • Managing financial and legal affairs

If you do any of these tasks for another person, you are a caregiver.

With careful planning, good self-care, and a knowledge of available help, your job will be easier. You will be a better caregiver, and you will help make it possible for the person to remain at home longer.

Originally written and published by the Aging and Adult Services Administration Department of Social and Health Services, State of Washington. Reprinted with permission.

© Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

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Caregivers Handbook

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