Defining Caregivers: Who Are They & What Qualifies as Caregiving

A caregiver is generally defined as an individual who gives care to someone who requires help taking care of themselves. Of the 16.2 million caregivers in the United States, 83% are unpaid caregivers, usually family members or friends of the loved one in need. These individuals assist with medical tasks and the activities of daily living (ADLs).

These daily activities fall into 5 basic categories:

  • Dressing: the ability to physically dress and undress oneself 
  • Personal hygiene: bathing or showering, grooming, nail care, and oral care
  • Eating: the ability to feed oneself
  • Maintaining continence: the ability to mentally and physically use a restroom
  • Mobility: the ability to get in and out of bed, stand from a sitting position, and walk independently 

Caregivers also often assist with Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). These IADLs are not necessarily performed daily but they remain an essential part of independent living. An inability to complete the tasks such as the following on one’s own may prompt a caregiver to step in:

  • Transportation: driving oneself, arranging rides, or using public transportation
  • Housework: washing dishes, vacuuming, and other tasks involved in maintaining a clean and sanitary home
  • Basic communication: using a phone or computer to communicate with others

With so many tasks for caregivers to manage, it is no surprise that caregiver burnout is so prevalent. This burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and/or mental exhaustion that caregivers may suffer from due to not getting the help they need or trying to do more than they are able. Half of adult caregivers report that it is moderately or very difficult to balance work and caregiving. Burnout depression affects 20-40% of all caregivers. It is Clearday’s mission to help both aging individuals and family caregivers alike. Our hope is to offer these individuals peace of mind and reduce the stress they may experience. Read more about our transformative new care models here.

By Clearday Research Team

This blog and related materials prepared by Clearday, Inc. may use publicly available information including market research, studies or reports by unaffiliated third parties that include market demographics and other relevant market or research information. Such information or a link to such information is available upon request. We do not warrant any such information and do not have information that causes us to believe that any such market research, studies or reports are not correct in all material respects.