Frequently Asked Questions

Every day, Family Caregivers have to find answers. Here are a few answers you may need.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Family Caregiver (or Unpaid Family Caregiver)?

A Family Caregiver, also called an Unpaid Family Caregiver (UFC), is a family member or friend who without compensation provides caregiving for a child or adult who is sick, chronically ill, or frail, or for anyone who is physically or mentally challenged. UFCs typically do not have any form of professional training in health care or patient support and have rarely been instructed on how to be a Caregiver.

Who can be a Family Caregiver?

Anyone can be a Family Caregiver. A person may be related by blood to the person needing care, or may be a friend, a neighbor – a Family Caregiver can be any person who is willing to take on the responsibility of providing care. That person may have experience as a professional paid caregiver or may have not experience. Most Family Caregivers are adults who care for a spouse, a child, or another relative, and sometimes for a friend, but some Family Caregivers are children (even as young as 6 or 7) who help their siblings, parents, grandparents, young friends, or neighbors perform small tasks until the “official” adult Caregiver is available.

What is a Family Caregiver Support Group?

There are two kinds of support groups: Informal and Formal. An informal Family Caregiver support group is made up of family members and friends who are always there to help a Family Caregiver by offering comfort, hands-on help, and advice when the Family Caregiver is faced with a problem. A formal Family Caregiver Support Group is a gathering of Family Caregivers who meet regularly to discuss the challenges they face as Family Caregivers; they share information, experiences, problems, and possible solutions for problems. Some Formal Family Caregiver Support Groups are provided by professional caregiving organizations for the families and friends who care for an organization’s clients. Other Formal Family Caregiver Support Groups are offered by organizations like the Center for Caregiver Support for anyone who wishes to attend or for professional caregiving organizations as a service to the family and friends of those in their care.

What is a “Lunch & Bunch”?

A Lunch & Bunch is a monthly gathering of Family Caregivers offered by the Center for Caregiver Support. The group meets in an informal setting – such as a restaurant – where they can get to know each other and share their caregiving questions and experiences. At a Lunch & Bunch, Family Caregivers Connect with, Support, and Inspire each other as they pursue their caregiving journey.

What is a “Caregiver Roadmap”?

People faced with a long and demanding journey need a roadmap showing the easiest routes and how to deal with or avoid rough spots in their path. A Caregiver Roadmap is a step-by-step action plan Family Caregivers prepare with the help of staff of the Center for Caregiver Support. The Roadmap is a personal plan that helps a Family Caregiver organize everyday activities that have to be performed, such as setting up a loved one’s medical appointments, or filling prescriptions, or finding paid professional help. The Roadmap is also a valuable tool for taking care of serious issues before they become crises – by looking ahead, creating models for taking action, identifying professional service providers who can support Family Caregiving — and by providing essential information when crises do occur. Staff at the Center for Caregiver Support helps the Family Caregiver navigate community resources and avoid pitfalls, while providing the Family Caregiver with peace of mind because that Family Caregiver knows what the options are and has confidence that they have resources and tools to support their loved one.

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