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Caregivers Information

  • A voluntary caregiver is the modern terminology for an unpaid spouse, relative, friend or neighbor of a disabled person or child who assists with activities of daily living and assists those unable to fully take care of themselves. While the term "caregiver" may also apply to many professional providers of services, the words "voluntary caregiver" are broadly used to describe those individuals other than parents whose contributions are normally not compensated as employment. For elderly people, sometimes the word eldercare is used...
  • The services of one or more voluntary caregivers can be valuable in helping the disabled person live in their own home and/or with their own family, limiting the need and costs of professional home care services, or relocation to group home, assisted living, nursing home, or hospice care settings. Caregiver training is sometimes offered by professional agencies to share options and methods for voluntary caregivers to use.

    As medical breakthroughs have changed some health problems from terminal to chronic, and life spans have gradually increased, and as average age of the population becomes older, the role of voluntary caregiver has been increasingly recognized as an important one, both functionally and economically. Many organizations which provide support for persons with disabilities have developed support for caregivers as well. Since much care giving is home-based, the Internet has also developed as a valuable tool to provide support and information to caregivers.

    According to the National Family Caregivers Association, "more than 50 million people provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year.". The vast majority of these are voluntary caregivers.

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Health Blogs

It is never easy when the roles between parent and child need to be reversed, but it is more often than not the way life plays out. As people age and health declines, adult children often step-up to manage their parent’s care. According to a recent report in JAMA Internal Medicine, 60% of the time it is a daughter that is tasked with the ... Read More »
Not a day goes by without someone asking me what my thoughts are on the state of healthcare here in the U.S. And the tone of my response is to keep it rather bland as frankly, I’d rather not start a full-on political discussion about healthcare, and in particular, pediatric healthcare during office hours. But since I am asked on a daily ... Read More »
Did you ever smell a particular scent, and a flood of memories came pouring in? It happened to me when my aunt passed away. I hadn’t been to her house in many years. I had moved to the West Coast and only saw her at family functions, held at my grandfather’s home. We went to her house to clear out her belongings, and as soon as I opened her ... Read More »

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Torrey L. Shannon
Public Speaker and Advocate,
Challenge America

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