During the later stages of life, individuals experience declining biological ability and a resultant increased need for support to continue to maintain levels of functioning. Family members, friends, or professional service providers often step in to provide such support. The act of caregiving by any of these individuals represents the giving of practical care or the provision of support to another person that is often unreciprocated. It is a human-to-human interaction whereby one person gives to another in response to a need or needs of the care recipient.

Caregiving of older adults most often refers to providing support to older individuals experiencing declines in health. In the context of aging, caregivers are a diverse group of individuals who provide varying levels of support. This entry reviews ...

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