Who is a Caregiver?

Ask Rhonda what she does for her parents Kitty and Dallas and she drops words like, “advocate” and says things like, “I am their voice.” It isn’t until you hear all the daily help she provides for her father who has been physically disabled for 11 years that she starts talking about caregiving.

Whether it’s helping to do his laundry, making doctor appointments, organizing his finances, or making sure he is comfortable in his chair, Rhonda is doing more than being a good daughter to her dad; she is his caregiver.

Ever since Rhonda’s mother needed more help for her own needs, Dallas has been living with Rhonda and her husband and two children. When Rhonda needs help providing the daily support her father requires, she calls on a local United Way partner to provide respite care for her dad. Thanks to trained volunteers who know how to give care, Rhonda can take a break and trust that her dad has what he needs. And Rhonda has something she needs too, a renewed sense of family. “When I receive help, I get to be a daughter again. I get to be a mom and a wife to my family.”

Whether you are a son, or daughter, a mom or dad, or a friend helping a loved one, United Way’s Caregiver Connection is here to help you get the information you need and connect you to local resources for help.