Caring for the Caregiver: A Guide for Physicians

A caregiver can be any relative, partner, friend or neighbor who has a significant personal relationship with, and provides a broad range of assistance for a child or an adult with a chronic or disabling condition. These individuals may be primary or secondary caregivers and live with, or separately from, the person receiving care. In the United States, approximately 43.5 million people serve as informal caregivers providing unpaid care to an adult or child.

Many of these individuals are full-time caregivers, with one in four providing 41 or more hours per week of in-home care, and the remainder spending an average of 24.4 hours per week providing care.

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