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Consumer Health Resources: Caregiver Resources

Resources and tips for patients and health consumers
There are many excellent resources available for caregivers.
This guide contains:
  • search tips
  • COD Library resources
  • links to community resources, local government and national organizations supporting caregivers and families

Humanities Fest 2022


The Caregiving Disconnect

Caregiving (looking after the emotional and physical needs of a child, ill, elderly, or disabled person) is revered by our society as a noble and honorable activity. Yet, one of the biggest hurdles for caregivers is the feeling of being isolated and alone (even when they may be providing day-to-day care of a child, adult or senior). The weight of providing care is tremendous. Nursing & Health Sciences Librarian, Professor Debra Smith, examines how the lenses through which we view the world (cultural, societal, familial, life experience) influence care giving circumstances (both helpful and harmful). She’ll answer questions while sharing helpful resources and tips for self-care and providing care to others.

caregiver holding hands with an elderly person

What is a Caregiver?

A family (or informal) caregiver is any relative, partner, friend or neighbor who has a significant personal relationship with, and provides a broad range of assistance for, an older person 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.

~Family Caregiver Alliance definition

How Do YOU Perceive Caregiving? What Has Influenced Your Perception?

     What are some words that come to your mind when you think about caregivers?


     What impressions come to mind when you think about the act of caregiving?


     Are the descriptions that come to your mind positive? negative? mixed? neutral?


How have cultural, societal, religious, familial, and personal experience shaped your view of caregiving?
Are your impressions of caregiving and caregivers harmonious or is there dissonance?

What Tasks Do Caregivers Perform?

Defining commitments ADL & IADL help**
Finding emotional support and hands-on help Administer & manage prescriptions
Understanding sacrifice Treatment compliance
Accepting reality Manage behavioral symptoms
Fostering awareness and flexibility--accept change Access, negotiate & monitor support services
Protecting intimacy (strengthening bonds) Liaison with health care system, families, etc.
Sustaining the spirit in difficult times  

*Jacobs. (2006). The emotional survival guide for caregivers : looking after yourself and your family while helping an aging parent. Guilford Press. [available in both print and ebook format via the COD Library]

**Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are necessary for basic functional living. Examples are eating, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair, walking, taking a bath or shower, and using the toilet.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) are those activities that allow an individual to live independently in a community. Although not necessary for functional living, the ability to perform IADLs can significantly improve the quality of life. Examples include cooking, cleaning, transportation, laundry, and managing finances.

definitions from: Guo HJ, Sapra A. Instrumental Activity of Daily Living. [Updated 2021 Nov 21]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:

Source: The National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP's Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 Report

Positive & Negative Aspects of Caregiving

Positive Aspects
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Develop new skills
  • Give back to recipients of care
  • Heal broken relationships
  • Experiencing an enhanced sense of purpose
  • Being appreciated
  • Helping to maintain the identify and well-being of the family
  • Demonstrate compassion and love


              Negative Aspects                               Image by John Hain from Pixabay
  • Increased stress
  • Financial insecurity
  • Poor quality of life
  • Emotional and physical health decline
  • Loss of self
  • Feeling powerless
  • Loneliness
  • Isolation

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Remember to care for yourself!

  • Thinking positively can improve your physical and emotional well-being
  • Spend time with friends and family
  • Take time for you
  • Exercise
  • Do what you love
  • Learn something new
  • Join a support group
  • See your health care provider(s) regularly
  • Ask for help
  • Eat well
  • Get enough sleep


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


Infographic from Home Care Delivered,

Need Help?


Need research help and not sure where to turn? Get help from the library via email, chat, and online appointments or stop by one of our reference desks during open hours of operation. 

Want to contact your Nursing & Health Sciences Librarian or set up a virtual or F2F appointment with her? Email Debra Smith:

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  • Last Updated: May 14, 2024 10:50 AM
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