A broad term used to refer to an individual who provides care to another individual who cannot care for him or herself due to a disability or functional limitation. This individual could provide nonmedical care such as help with bathing or eating or he/she could provide medically necessary care such as changing dressings. The care may be provided informally by a relative, friend or neighbor or by a paid individual who may or may not be a licensed professional. Sometimes referred to as a caretaker, though a caretaker is usually one that looks after or takes charge of goods and property.
- Advance Directive
A legal document, also referred to as a medical directive, that documents an individual's preferences regarding the manner in which they would like to receive health care, in the event they can no longer communicate such wishes directly. Living Wills, Health Care Powers of Attorney and Health Care Proxy are examples.
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