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What the Caregiver Needs to Know - Play it Safe

play it safe 2A caregiver is someone responsible for the care and well-being of another person. A caregiver plays an important role in the life of the person for whom they care. A caregiver may be a relative, significant other, neighbor, or friend.

Whatever your role, it is important for you to learn about medications and medication safety. Working with the healthcare team and patient to review the patient's medications is very important. Your support can add to his or her quality of life and make managing medications less of a challenge. Learn more and you will be better able to help. The Getting Started and Get Ready pages have valuable information for your own medication safety. Create your own medication list now.

Remember when caring for another person it is important to take care of yourself too! Seek out assistance from others when needed and be aware of your own limitations. As a caregiver there are times you put the patient's needs above your own. You may defer activities in which you would like to participate. You may give up spending time with other friends. Sometimes you may even spend extra time and money to ensure the best for the person under your care. There will be times you do not feel appreciated for what you do. Yet, care giving has a great deal of meaning for you, the person you care for, and other family members. VA Caregiver Support offers a variety of resources specificially to help caregivers.

Medication and Older Adults (FDA)

Help Avoid Mistakes with Your Medicines (The Joint Commission)

Know Your Rights (The Joint Commission)

Understanding Your Doctors and Other Caregivers (The Joint Commission)

Other information that you may find useful as a caregiver:

Five Things You Can Do to Prevent Infection (The Joint Commission)

Help Avoid Mistakes in Your Surgery (The Joint Commission)

Help Prevent Errors in Your Care (The Joint Commission)

Help Prevent Medical Test Mistakes (The Joint Commission)

Information for Living Organ Donors (The Joint Commission)

What You Should Know about Research Studies (The Joint Commission)


Reviewed/Updated Date: May 2011
Clinical Advisory Board Sponsor: Rose Mary Pries, PhD
Clinical Subject Matter Experts: Maureen Layden, MD, MPH; Eric Spahn, PharmD
Patient Education Subject Matter Experts: Kathy Horvath, PhD