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What is a caregiver and how do they help the medical community?

How important is the role of a caregiver?

Within the medical community, you have your doctors, nurses, therapists, and many other important roles. One role that rarely gets discusses is that of a caregiver.

"A caregiver is somebody who is taking care of another person who isn't able to take care of all their own needs," says Faith Fisher, Master of Social Work at Mercy Medical Center. "Caregivers will often take care of someone's activities of daily living is what we call them."

Those activities of daily living include feeding, bathing, and dressing, but it also includes other very important roles.

"Sometimes they need to make phone calls for them," Fisher says, "and really be in touch with the doctor and know what is going on with this loved one and what can a caregiver do to really help the loved one."

A caregiver does not need to be related to the patient. They can be a neighbor or a close friend.

A lot of times, a caregiver just assumes the role without warning, jumping in right away to help. They don't always know how long they will have to be a caregiver.

"But their willingness is what makes them a great caregiver because they're jumping in and doing whatever they can as long as it's needed," Fisher says.

Faith Fisher considers herself a caregiver, and says the experience is very beneficial to herself and those around her.

"You really can find a lot of pride and joy in being a caregiver," Fisher says. "I think it's just amazing to see that self-service in somebody else."

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