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Are you a Caregiver, or a Caretaker?

Posted May 03 2011 1:55pm
Is there a movement afoot to start calling us caretakers?...
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

When I say the word caregiver, I usually mean something along these lines.

A person, relative, or friend that helps an individual with his or her activities of daily living. I am usually referring to a spouse or child. Sometimes a grand child, and sometimes a partner. This term could also describe a hired hand; like a person you hire to care for someone with Alzheimer's.

At any rate, I am refering to someone that gives emotional care and support to another "human being".

When I hear the word caretaker, I most often think of the person that takes care of the cemetery. Or, a person that takes care of your house when you are out of town or on vacation. The word caretaker more often than not refers to something having to do with "property".

You might be thinking where am I going with this?

Well, I heard both Maria Shriver and Ron Reagan use the word caretaker. Is this a California thing? Or, something going national?

Yikes, I just went over to the Alzheimer's Association website and there are all kinds of people using the word caretaker.

I decided to search some Caretaker websites.

Whew, no caregivers on those website. Go take a look. You might laugh, I did.

Which of these sounds better, more meaningful, and more descriptive.

  • My name is Bob DeMarco, I am an Alzheimer's caretaker.
  • My name is Bob DeMarco, I am an Alzheimer's caregiver.

Which one?

I am not the type of person that sweats the small stuff. So, if you want to use the word caretaker, fine by me.

But please remember this.

Don't ever refer to me as a Caretaker. Never, ever.

Your thoughts?

More Insight and Advice for Caregivers

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,680 articles with more than 512,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

The Alzheimer’s Action Plan: The Experts’ Guide to the Best Diag­no­sis and Treat­ment for Mem­ory Prob­lems
The 36-Hour Day A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room

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