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May 16, 2013

More than 44 million individuals in the U.S. and Canada are family caregivers. Yet few of these family caregivers identify themselves as such. Why? Because often the things that make you a caregiver just seem like natural things to do as a son, daughter, spouse, or friend.

Failing to recognize yourself as a caregiver can also cause you to fail to recognize the demands and responsibilities being placed on you, and the impacts that may be having on your health and welfare. Research conducted on behalf of the Home Instead Senior Care® network reveals that caregivers who hid their emotions are more likely to experience depression, difficulty sleeping, and fatigue.

In addition, people who don’t self-identify as caregivers may not realize the magnitude of what they do. According to AARP, in 2009, family caregivers provided over $450 billion worth of caregiving services. The responsibilities of caregiving can often add up in subtle yet impactful ways.

Use this quiz to see if you are actually a caregiver.

If you are a caregiver, we encourage you to explore some of these other helpful resources:

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. August 5, 2016 at 9:27 am | Posted by Karen

    What is one's obligation to a long time friend... I'm helping an old friend several hours a week and it's not how I want to be spending my time. Is it kinder to just say no, or to help her and resent it?


  2. August 5, 2016 at 9:25 am | Posted by Karen

    I'm helping an old friend and it's not how I want to spend my time. I'm trying to figure out if and how to say no.


  3. January 13, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Posted by Monique Templeton

    It's awfully tough to give your self 10 minutes when you are a Caregiver. And even if you do you feel guilty for it. I find myself flying thru the grocery to hurry and get home. Barbara is right. Lives go on.


  4. January 13, 2016 at 1:01 am | Posted by Kristine williams

    I am a caregiver to persons with DD that's not my family and to my family. I will tell you this it's not about being a caregiver it's about heart I see both sides. I wish my clients had family to help and show them love. As for taking care of family it's our obligation to help our loved ones who else will. I mean do you really want someone else careing for a loved on who may also be taking advantage, or mistreating them. I certainly won't let anything happen. Just my quick thought


  5. July 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Posted by Barbara Beckwith

    It isn't about the caregiver. It is about the person you take care of. So, I have been told more than a few times. Can't you do it yourself is another one that has been said to me. It is okay! I have big shoulders that have been reduced to nothing. Live goes on and people wonder why I am depressed.


    • January 13, 2016 at 1:03 am | Posted by Kristine williams

      It's all about balance. Gotta give yourself me time and not feel guilty about it. We deserve it and need it.


    • August 3, 2016 at 11:47 am | Posted by Paulette

      It is not my job. I am in a caregiver position by default. Respite is required for many reasons. Doesn't matter that family should but doesn't, I do it. I also take great steps to take care of me. Getting resentful and angry does no one any good - but it happens. Accept it and get help however you can. It isn't easy but it really is rewarding.


    • August 5, 2016 at 10:13 am | Posted by Karen

      I'm so sorry that people can't see that you would do it yourself if you could. It's probably because you had big shoulders that people still want to see you that way. I would never say that to the friend I'm helping, but I have asked her if she has checked out all the other resources before asking me. Now she's checking into transportation services to cut down on the time I drive her, which will help. God bless you, we all need to ask for help


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