Caregiver Information

For the Caregiver

Your role as a patient advocate

While your loved one is in the hospital, who will speak up for him or her? You can, by being the patient’s advocate—the person who will help the patient work with doctors, nurses, and hospital staff. To  help your loved one make the best decisions about his or her care and treatment, follow the advice in the caregiver list below.

While you are making sure that your loved one’s needs are being met, don’t neglect your own. Caregiving is a stressful and time-consuming job. You may neglect your diet, your normal exercise routine, and your sleep needs. You may find that you have little or no time to spend with friends, to relax, or to just be by yourself for a while. But personal time is important. Don’t be reluctant to ask for help in caring for your loved one. Take advantage of friends’ offers to help and look into local adult daycare programs. Find out more about how you can ease the stress of caregiving at


patient’s condition

Know the condition for which your loved one is receiving treatment.

patient’s rights

Know your Patient Rights and Responsibilities

advance directives

Know whether or not your loved one has an advance directive and if so, what it specifies

ask questions

If your loved one is too ill or reluctant to ask questions, make note of his or her concerns and any you may have, and don’t be afraid to speak up (see Speak Up!).

help track medications

Your loved one may be prescribed medications while in the hospital and may be seen by several doctors. Keep track of medications and be sure to have a complete list one your loved one is discharged home.

what’s next?

Will your loved one need home care? Know how to access home health services.