Most people become caregivers not out of choice but necessity. Becoming a caregiver is not like becoming a nurse; one chooses to become a nurse, and goes to school to
learn how. Caregivers, on the other hand, are usually thrust into the role when a loved one is unable to care for himself.
The term "caregiver" applies to anyone who is caring for elderly parents, a disabled spouse, an ill child, or a relative, friend, or neighbor. Caregivers sometimes care for a loved one part-time; other caregivers are responsible for full time care.
Most caregivers have no formal training, but there are many resources available to those who assume the caregiving role, including many on this site, as well as the Family Caregiver Alliance, a national organization that provides valuable information, support, and other resources for caregivers.