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Lizarraga

Francisco Lizarraga
Gango-3
5 October 2015
Importance of Caregiving
A vast majority of people has a family member who is elderly or disabled that cannot
physically take care of him or herself. Whether it is physically or psychologically, caregivers
play a huge role in the ones life in contributing their care for others. A caregivers role is to
provide unpaid assistance and support in the private home of a family member or acquaintance
that cannot provide the proper everyday care for themselves. A caregiver undergoes many daily
tasks that may be easy and simple to the everyday healthy person such as shopping, personal
hygiene and nutrition. An individual, a majority of the time due to elderly age or being disabled,
cannot perform these tasks, which is why caregivers step up and play the important role in caring
for them. Although caregiving is not seen as an important position to undergo, it is very
beneficial and can help extend the life of an individual.
Many elderly and disabled people require a caregiver to help get through the day. About
65.7 million caregivers make up about 29% of the United States adult population providing care
to someone who is disabled, ill or elderly. About 52 million caregivers provide care to adults that
are 18+ years of age with a disability or illness and 43.5 million of adult family caregivers care
for someone who is 50+ years of age (Selected Caregiver). nurse may argue that caregiving is
not necessary in an individuals life due to the variety of aide they offer in hospitals. That
individual may desperately need the assistance of another to help aid them in daily tasks that may
be difficult to them in their home. Suzanne Mintz, president and co-founder of the National
Family Caregiving Association, says that a caregivers most immediate task may be about the

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most intimate, physical aspects of care: giving baths, helping a loved one eat, getting dressed,
use the bathroom or even breathe (MintzThe Role). A caregiver makes sure their client is taken
care of properly and executes daily tasks needed for an individuals good health. A nurse may
argue that caregiving is not necessary because a nurse can perform these tasks in a hospital. For
example, an elderly or disabled individual may not be able to properly bathe themselves on a
regular basis due to limited movement. In a hospital, a nurse is not capable of giving a thorough
daily or regular bath due to the amount of other patients in the hospital facility. This can result in
unhealthy hygiene that can lead to diseases and other negative health effects. When an example
like this occurs, a caregiver knows how to properly and thoroughly care and assist an individual
in performing a task that should be exercised on a daily basis such as bathing. For this reason,
opponents argue that caregiving is unnecessary. Therefore, people who oppose caregiving
believe that it is unnecessary and is not beneficial in an individuals life. However, caregiving
plays an important role in ones life and is needed to help extend the life of an individual.
Unfortunately, some do not realize the importance of caregiving on a patients life.
Caregiving is not an easy position to undergo. A regular person has a daily routine of
performing his or her own personal tasks. Now a caregiver does this and on top of that, helps
someone else who cannot perform these daily tasks. For instance, in 1974, Suzanne Mintz
became a caregiver for her husband due to his diagnosis of multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis
is a disability in the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information between the
brain and the body. Multiple Sclerosis effects on daily life range from memory loss,
concentration and cooperation with others. Suzanne had to undergo the caregiving position due
to her husbands disability and perform daily tasks that he could no longer be able to perform.
She would have to wake up every morning before work and bathe, dress and feed her husband

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before she performed those tasks for herself. She would spend 3 hours at work and then return
home to check on her husband. She worked three days a week and had to aid her husband every
day of the week. This brought exhaustion, high stress levels and lack of patience to Suzanne. She
later resigned from her work and helped create the National Family Caregiver Association, a
non-profit organization that helps aid people with illnesses or disabilities of everyday tasks.
Suzanne is an example of someone who had to undergo the difficult position of caregiving
(MintzGiving). The American Society of Clinical Oncology state, The challenges of
caregiving may include physical and emotional stress and less time for personal and family life
(Being A Caregiver). Clearly, this evidence shows that caregiving is not an easy position to
undergo and is important in an individuals life.
Another significant reason caregiving is important in an individuals life is the
involvement of emotional support. An elderly or disabled person may feel lonely or remote due
to their unavailability to do things a regular healthy person can do. For example, some elderly or
disabled patients may be placed in nursing homes or may be isolated from others (Being A). A
caregiver provides companionship to those who do not have someone there for them all the time.
A patient may want to tell someone about his or her day or even have a conversation. Providing
company to the patients by interacting with them can make them feel healthier and more
enthusiastic to be alive. Some patients do not have companionship and are usually depressed and
lonesome due to not having someone to talk to. The company of another being will remind the
patient that someone cares for them and what they have to say (Being a Caregiver). Patricia
Drentea, an associate professor who has a Ph.D. in Sociology, states, Caregiving also involves a
great deal in emotional support, which may include listening, counseling and companionship
(Drentea). Those three main points involved in emotional support make a huge difference in the

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health of a patient. Ultimately, this evidence shows that emotional support of a caregiver is
important in a patients life.
The most important reason caregiving is important in an individuals life is because of the
personal care provided to the patients. A patient who is elderly or disabled cannot perform daily
tasks needed to personally care for themselves. On a caregiver basic task sheet provided by the
Family and Nursing Care organization, a range of many different daily tasks a caregiver provides
daily are listed. The personal care section includes tasks such as Bed Bath/Sponge Bath, Brush
Teeth, Brush/Comb Hair and Medication reminder. There are also other sections such as
toileting, companionship, mobility, nutrition, and support services. These sections are all general
tasks that are easy for the average healthy individual such as walking, using the bathroom,
laundry, and house cleaning. All of these tasks are performed daily by the average person, which
is taken for granted due to good health (Caregiver Task Sheet). An elderly or disabled person
cannot perform those daily tasks such as brushing their teeth, feeding themselves or walking. A
caregiver is there to assist the patient with these daily tasks to assure them of good health. The
American Society of Oncology, state in an article that caregivers have a range of responsibilities
on a daily or as-needed basis. Some of the responsibilities stated include giving medications,
helping manage symptoms and side effects, assisting with meals, helping with household chores
and providing support and encouragement (Being A Caregiver). The article and task list express
the many different personal care tasks a caregiver undergoes. Therefore, a patients personal care
is important to a caregiver, making a caregivers importance beneficial.
Despite the care of professional medical positions, caregiving is just as important and is
beneficial in an elderly or disabled patients life. Caregivers play a huge role that is
underestimated in many peoples lives. Many people support caregivers and the position they

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undergo in someones life. Whether that support comes from a firsthand experience or selfknowledge. Caregiving is not an easy position to undergo and is filled with many different
responsibilities. The average person can undergo this position but not many can continue to
partake in it due to it not so easy to handle. Next time you meet or come across a caregiver, make
sure you thank them for what they do and what huge role they play in the lives of the elderly and
of the disabled.

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Works Cited
Being a Caregiver. Cancer.net. American Society of Clinical Oncology. April 2015.
Web. 10 September 2015.
Caregiver Task Sheet. Familynursingcare.com. Family and Nursing Care. n.d.
Web. 10 September 2015.
Drentea, Patricia. Caregiving. Workfamily.edu. Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology
Blackweel Publishing. June 2007.
Web. 10 September 2015.
Mintz, Suzanne. Giving a Voice to Americas Caregivers. Encore.org National Family
Caregivers Association. Encore. n.d.
Web. 4 October 2015.
Mintz, Suzanne. The Role of Family Caregivers. Caregiverslibrary.org. National Family
Caregivers Association. Educational Broadcasting Corporation. n.d.
Web. 30 September 2015
Selected Caregiver Statistics. Caregiver.org Family Caregiver Alliance. December 2012.
Web. 22 October 2015
Tips for Caregiving. Cancer.net American Society of Clinical Oncology. April 2015.
Web. 4 October 2015.