A caregiver according to Merriam Webster dictionary is a person who gives direct care to children, the elderly, or those with illness. Some conditions requiring a caregiver includes post hospital care, in recovery, with chronic illness, or disabilities.
A caregiver can be formal or informal. An informal caregiver usually is a family member and is the main choice because the care given is usually long term, continuous, and provided at home. For example, helping in daily activities such as bathing, dressing up, or attending to chronic care. Meanwhile, a formal caregiver is a usually a professional service. Unfortunately, for many reasons, many families hire household assistant with no special skill as caregiver.
Family is still the best option provided the patient does not need intensive hospital care. Some supporting reasons is that the family member can be an easily accepted companion, more understanding on the patient’s disease and character, and can give warm and loving care. Optimum care is expected to provide a meaningful quality of life improvement.
However, a caregiver can experience difficulties in daily activities such as challenges in managing time, lack of socialization, problems in relationship, and physical and mental health issues. This condition can cause pressure on the caregiver and cause burnout. This must be understood in long term care in aging population and smaller family structure. Not all families have conducive situation that can support the caregiver. Home care services such as Kavacare now give professional service to help alleviate daily care burden and be a trusted partner for the family in providing high quality home care tailored to each family’s special needs.