Defining Caregivers and Caregiving

There is no one definition of caregivers or caregiving. For the purposes of this website, we define caregivers as relatives or friends who provide a wide range of unpaid care to dependent children, spouses, parents, sibilings, other relatives, friends and/or neighbours. Caregiving are the actions of providing care to these individuals. Caregiving can include:

  • Practical assistance with basic activities of daily living (e.g. housekeeping, shopping, meal preparation)
  • Personal care (e.g. help with monitoring medication, bathing)
  • Physical help (e.g. assistance with movement, supervision, direct medical care)
  • Emotional and social support (e.g. visiting, transportation, talking about emotions)
  • Finding and accessing services (e.g. housing, medical supports)
  • Behavioural support (e.g. communicating effectively, managing challenging behaviours)
  • Financial help (e.g. financial support, managing finances)

Overarching all of these activities, caregiving is the assumption of responsibility for providing care, along with the concern, worry and emotional involvement this entails.

Caregiving takes place in the community and in care facilities and can be carried out from a distance (e.g., out of province).

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