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Caregiving > Tips and Advice for Giving Care

Who Do You Need on Your Caregiving Team?

As a caregiver, you can’t do it all alone. A lot of different people with assorted skills may be involved in providing care for your loved one. Here are some people you may need on your caregiving team.

  • Care Team: Primary Care Physicians

    Primary care physicians or nurse practitioners

    A primary care physician is usually your loved one’s first contact in the health care system. He or she usually takes responsibility for providing comprehensive care.
  • Care Team: Specialists

    Specialists

    A specialist is a physician who focuses on a specific area of medicine. Examples of specialists include oncologists, who treat cancer; endocrinologists, who treat diabetes; and cardiologists, who treat heart disorders.
  • Care Team: Nurses

    Nurses

    Nurses play an important role in your loved one’s health. Often, registered nurses will set up plans for care. These members of your care team can also help with wound care, intravenous therapy, administering medications, monitoring the general health of your loved one, and other support.
  • Care Team: Physical/Occupational/Speech Therapists

    Physical/occupational/​speech therapists

    A physical therapist can create a plan to help the person in your care regain or strengthen use of muscles and joints. An occupational therapist can help your loved one with learning how to perform daily functions, like eating, bathing, and dressing. A speech therapist can help your loved one with impaired speech regain the ability to communicate clearly.
  • Care Team: Case Workers/Social Workers

    Case workers/social workers

    These care team members can provide counseling and locate community resources to help the person in your care in his or her recovery. If coordination of services is required, a social worker will work as your loved one’s case manager.
  • Care Team: Home Health Aides

    Home health aides

    Aides can help with your loved one’s basic personal needs, such as getting out of bed, walking, bathing, and dressing. They also provide companionship to the person in your care, giving comfort and a little bit of supervision when needed. Home health aides may also help perform household duties for your loved one, if needed.
  • Care Team: Nutritionists/Dietitians

    Nutritionists/dietitians

    Dietitians can make an assessment of, and recommendations for, your loved one’s dietary needs.
  • Care Team: Meal Support

    Meal support

    Home-delivery services, such as Meals on Wheels, provide food for people in their communities who are unable to cook for themselves. Depending on your loved one’s needs, meals can be delivered several times a week.
  • Care Team: Pharmacists

    Pharmacists

    Medication therapy management, when provided by a pharmacist, promotes collaboration with your loved one, his or her physicians, and other health care providers to help ensure the best care is achieved. The pharmacist reviews prescribed and over-the-counter medications to make sure they are being used correctly and your loved one isn’t being prescribed duplicate medications.
  • Care Team: Transportation Support

    Transportation support

    In addition to asking friends and family to help with transportation needs, there are companies that provide transportation for your loved one to and from medical facilities for treatments or appointments.
  • Care Team: Mental Health Support

    Mental health support

    Psychologists can help patients and caregivers cope with important issues and sources of emotional unrest. Psychiatrists are physicians who specialize in diagnosing and dealing with mental health issues and can prescribe and adjust medication dosages while also providing counseling.
  • Care Team: Religious/Spiritual Support

    Religious/spiritual support

    It may be good for your loved one to speak with someone to help with the emotional changes they are experiencing. Speaking with a chaplain, who is a member of the clergy, can help provide support for your loved one.