Facebook Twitter Instagram You Tube Pinterest LinkedIn RSS Podcasts Video Library Blog
 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago


Who are Caregivers?

A caregiver is a person, usually someone not formally trained in health care, who provides basic assistance and care for someone who is frail, disabled, or ill. Caregivers perform a wide variety of tasks to assist patients in their daily lives. The information in this pathfinder is prepared for people who are caring for a patient in any setting, including the home, a nursing facility, or a hospital.

Internet Resources

MedlinePlus: Caregivers
Developed at the National Library of Medicine specifically for consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information for the lay public. This site offers very helpful information about coping and support during a difficult time.

Family Caregiving Alliance
Provides information, education, and advocacy to support individuals who are caring for loved ones with chronic health conditions and disabilities.


  • Caregiver’s path to compassionate decision making. Kind V. 2010
  • The art of dementia care. Verity J. 2008
  • My mother, your mother: The compassionate approach to caring for your aging loved ones. McCullough D. 2008
  • Voices of caregiving: The healing companion: Stories for courage, comfort, and strength. 2008.
  • When the man you love is ill: Doing the best for your partner without losing yourself. Lynn D. 2007
  • Emotional survival guide for caregivers. Jacobs B. 2006
  • The 36-hour day: A family guide to caring for persons with Alzheimer’s disease, related dementing illnesses, and memory loss in later life. Mace NL. 2006.
  • If only I’d had this caregiving book. Hennessey M. 2006
  • 100 questions and answers about caring for family or friends with cancer. Rose S. 2005
  • Caregiving: A step-by-step resource for caring for the person with cancer at home. Houts P. 2003.
  • Across the chasm: a caregiver’s story. Zikmund-Fisher N. 2002
  • And thou shalt honor: The caregiver's companion. McLeod B., ed. 2002.
  • Giving the best care. West J., ed. 2002.
  • Stories of family caregiving: Reconsiderations of theory, literature, and life. Poirier S. 2002.
  • The complete medical guide for the family caregiver: The authoritative, at-home companion for giving the best care. West, J., ed 2002
  • Circles of care: How to set up quality home care for our elders. Cason A. 2001.


  • “Coping with the stress of caregiving.” Harvard Mental Health Letter. 25(12):6. June 2009.
  • “Care for the caregivers: how to find it.” Johns Hopkins Medical Letter, Health After 50. 20(7):4-5, 2008 Sep.


  • Time to care: activities of daily living. 45 min.
  • 10 essential tools of caregiving. 25 min.
  • Caring for the caregiver. 25 min.
  • Spiritual caregiving. 28 min.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the  Health Learning Center  at 312-926-5465 or HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateApril 4, 2012