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Transitions in Aging

Supporting Individuals with Developmental Disabilities as Caregivers

Who are Caregivers?

Photo of a young woman and old woman walking outdoors with arms linked

  • A person who cares for someone who is in need of support
  • Everyone can become a caregiver in supporting their
      - Children
      - Grandchildren
      - Parents
      - Grandparents
      - Neighbors

NEXT: Caregiving Roles and Demands

Notes and References

A person who provides unpaid care for friends and family in need would be considered a caregiver.

According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, the majority of individuals with health problems or disabilities receive some support and care from their family, relatives, and friends in the community. Individuals with developmental disabilities often take the role of a caregiver as well. Currently, there are more than 34.2 million family caregivers who spend an average of 20 hours per week to support their loved ones in a home setting.1

So who are caregivers? The answer is that every one of us could become a caregiver at some point in our lives, caring for our children or grandchildren, our older parents or grandparents, and even our neighbors or friends. Oftentimes, we are glad to support our loved one and don't necessarily see ourselves as caregivers. Yet, over time, we may feel exhausted and stressed if the caregiving demands are high.


  1. AARP. (2015). Caregivers in the U.S.. Retrieved from