Family caregivers don’t always see how essential they are to the spouse, parent, child, extended family member or friend they care for. Not only do they support their loved one’s well-being, but they often do so without pay while balancing their own careers, personal life, and health. If you don’t think of yourself as a caregiver, consider the following signs that indicate you in fact are.
At Wellthy, we define a family caregiver as anyone who provides care for a loved one, be it childcare, parent care, or supporting a family member who’s managing an illness, mental health condition, or general health needs.
1. You run errands for others
Whether you’re shopping for groceries, refilling medication, or picking up dry cleaning for a loved one, these are all signs that you’re stepping in as their caregiver.
2. You keep track of another's finances
If you monitor a loved one’s bank accounts and credit cards to make sure all of their bills get paid on time and there’s no fraudulent activity, you are taking on a caregiving role.
3. You prepare meals for your family
You may meal prep and drop off a week’s worth of dinners for a loved one, go over to cook in their kitchen, or have them to yours for dinner. In any case, preparing meals is a common sign of caregiving.
4. You help with transportation
Driving a loved one to and from the bank, hair salon, supermarket, or perhaps a social event are all examples of being their caregiver.
5. You attend a loved one's doctor appointments
It can be comforting to have a family member join doctor appointments, no matter how big or small they might seem. Making it a priority to accompany a loved one to an appointment is a selfless act of a family caregiver.
6. You put your family’s schedule and needs before your own
An unfortunate truth is that family caregivers’ physical and mental health needs often fall to the wayside when caring for a loved one, leading to caregiver burnout. If this is the case, it’s important to care for yourself as you care for others!