Someone who takes care of a very young, elderly, or ill person is called a caregiver. If you make sure your ailing friend eats every day and is relatively comfortable, you are her caregiver.

Being a caregiver is sometimes a paying job — a home health aid and a nurse in a hospital both work as caregivers. When a family member is ill, you may become a temporary caregiver, bringing hot soup and warm blankets. In Britain, this person is called a carer. Both words come from the Old English carian, "to feel concern" and also "to grieve."

Definitions of caregiver

n a person who is responsible for attending to the needs of a child or dependent adult

Type of:
adult, grownup
a fully developed person from maturity onward

n a person who helps in identifying or preventing or treating illness or disability

PCP, health care provider, health professional, primary care provider
show 67 examples...
hide 67 examples...
Abul-Walid Mohammed ibn-Ahmad Ibn-Mohammed ibn-Roshd
Arabian philosopher born in Spain; wrote detailed commentaries on Aristotle that were admired by the Schoolmen (1126-1198)
Abu Ali al-Husain ibn Abdallah ibn Sina
Arabian physician and influential Islamic philosopher; his interpretation of Aristotle influenced St. Thomas Aquinas; writings on medicine were important for almost 500 years (980-1037)
Robert Barany
Austrian physician who developed a rotational method for testing the middle ear (1876-1936)
Caspar Bartholin
Danish physician who discovered Bartholin's gland (1585-1629)
William Beaumont
United States surgeon remembered for his studies of digestion (1785-1853)
Sir David Bruce
Australian physician and bacteriologist who described the bacterium that causes undulant fever or brucellosis (1855-1931)
Alexis Carrel
French surgeon and biologist who developed a way to suture and graft blood vessels (1873-1944)
Edith Louisa Cavell
English nurse who remained in Brussels after the German occupation in order to help Allied prisoners escape; was caught and executed by the Germans (1865-1915)
William Cowper
English surgeon who discovered Cowper's gland (1666-1709)
Burrill Bernard Crohn
United States physician who specialized in diseases of the intestines; he was the first to describe regional ileitis which is now known as Crohn's disease (1884-1983)
Michael Ellis De Bakey
United States heart surgeon who in 1966 implanted the first artificial heart in a human patient (born in 1908)
John L. H. Down
English physician who first described Down's syndrome (1828-1896)
Christiaan Eijkman
Dutch physician who discovered that beriberi is caused by a nutritional deficiency (1858-1930)
Etienne-Louis Arthur Fallot
French physician who described cardiac anomalies including Fallot's tetralogy (1850-1911)
William Gilbert
English court physician noted for his studies of terrestrial magnetism (1540-1603)
William Crawford Gorgas
United States Army surgeon who suppressed yellow fever in Havana and in the Panama Canal Zone (1854-1920)
William Harvey
English physician and scientist who described the circulation of the blood; he later proposed that all animals originate from an ovum produced by the female of the species (1578-1657)
medical practitioner who is regarded as the father of medicine; author of the Hippocratic oath (circa 460-377 BC)
Thomas Hodgkin
English physician who first described Hodgkin's disease (1798-1866)
George Huntington
United States physician who first described Huntington's chorea
Aletta Jacobs
Dutch physician who opened the first birth control clinic in the world in Amsterdam (1854-1929)
Edward Jenner
English physician who pioneered vaccination; Jenner inoculated people with small amounts of cowpox to prevent them from getting smallpox (1749-1823)
Harry Fitch Kleinfelter
United States physician who first described the XXY-syndrome (born in 1912)
Joseph Lister
English surgeon who was the first to use antiseptics (1827-1912)
Otto Loewi
United States pharmacologist (born in Germany) who was the first to show that acetylcholine is produced at the junction between a parasympathetic nerve and a muscle (1873-1961)
Clemence Sophia Harned Lozier
United States physician who in 1863 founded a medical school for women (1813-1888)
Sir Patrick Manson
Scottish physician who discovered that elephantiasis is spread by mosquitos and suggested that mosquitos also spread malaria (1844-1922)
Friedrich Anton Mesmer
Austrian physician who tried to treat diseases with a form of hypnotism (1734-1815)
Florence Nightingale
English nurse remembered for her work during the Crimean War (1820-1910)
Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim
Swiss physician who introduced treatments of particular illnesses based on his observation and experience; he saw illness as having an external cause (rather than an imbalance of humors) and replaced traditional remedies with chemical remedies (1493-1541)
James Parkinson
English surgeon (1755-1824)
Walter Reed
United States physician who proved that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes (1851-1902)
Peter Mark Roget
English physician who in retirement compiled a well-known thesaurus (1779-1869)
Sir Ronald Ross
British physician who discovered that mosquitos transmit malaria (1857-1932)
Benjamin Rush
physician and American Revolutionary leader; signer of the Declaration of Independence (1745-1813)
Margaret Higgins Sanger
United States nurse who campaigned for birth control and planned parenthood; she challenged Gregory Pincus to develop a birth control pill (1883-1966)
Albert Schweitzer
French philosopher and physician and organist who spent most of his life as a medical missionary in Gabon (1875-1965)
Anna Howard Shaw
United States physician and suffragist (1847-1919)
Sir James Young Simpson
Scottish obstetrician and surgeon who pioneered in the use of ether and discovered the anesthetic effects of chloroform (1811-1870)
English Hippocrates
English physician (1624-1689)
Erik Adolf von Willebrand
Finnish physician who first described vascular hemophilia (1870-1949)
Jean Martin Charcot
French neurologist who tried to use hypnotism to cure hysteria (1825-1893)
Harvery Williams Cushing
United States neurologist noted for his study of the brain and pituitary gland and who identified Cushing's syndrome (1869-1939)
Sir Howard Walter Florey
British pathologist who isolated and purified penicillin, which had been discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming (1898-1968)
Sigmund Freud
Austrian neurologist who originated psychoanalysis (1856-1939)
Harold Hirschsprung
Danish pediatrician (1830-1916)
Karen Danielsen Horney
United States psychiatrist (1885-1952)
Karl Theodor Jaspers
German psychiatrist (1883-1969)
Baron Richard von Krafft-Ebing
German neurologist noted for his studies of sexual deviance (1840-1902)
Karl Landsteiner
United States pathologist (born in Austria) who discovered human blood groups (1868-1943)
Prosper Meniere
French otologist who first described a form of vertigo now known as Meniere's disease and identified the semicircular canals as the site of the lesion (1799-1862)
Charles Frederick Menninger
United States psychiatrist who with his sons founded a famous psychiatric clinic in Topeka (1862-1953)
Karl Augustus Menninger
United States psychiatrist and son of Charles Menninger (1893-1990)
William Claire Menninger
United States psychiatrist and son of Charles Menninger (1899-1966)
Sir James Paget
English pathologist who discovered the cause of trichinosis (1814-1899)
John Rock
United States gynecologist and devout Catholic who conducted the first clinical trials of the oral contraceptive pill (1890-1984)
Francis Peyton Rous
United States pathologist who discovered viruses that cause tumors (1879-1970)
Hermann Snellen
Dutch ophthalmologist who introduced the Snellen chart to study visual acuity (1834-1908)
Benjamin Spock
United States pediatrician whose many books on child care influenced the upbringing of children around the world (1903-1998)
Harry Stack Sullivan
United States psychiatrist (1892-1949)
Georges Gilles de la Tourette
French neurologist (1857-1904)
Henry Hubert Turner
United States endocrinologist (1892-1970)
Rudolf Karl Virchow
German pathologist who recognized that all cells come from cells by binary fission and who emphasized cellular abnormalities in disease (1821-1902)
Karl Wernicke
German neurologist best known for his studies of aphasia (1848-1905)
Thomas Willis
English physician who was a pioneer in the study of the brain (1621-1675)
Melanie Klein
United States psychoanalyst (born in Austria) who was the first to specialize in the psychoanalysis of small children (1882-1960)
Wilhelm Reich
Austrian born psychoanalyst who lived in the United States; advocated sexual freedom and believed that cosmic energy could be concentrated in a human being (1897-1957)
show 21 types...
hide 21 types...
someone (not necessarily a licensed physician) who sets broken bones
someone skilled in the use of electricity to remove moles or warts or hair roots
medical assistant
a person trained to assist medical professionals
medical man, medical practitioner
someone who practices medicine
one skilled in caring for young children or the sick (usually under the supervision of a physician)
apothecary, chemist, druggist, pharmacist, pill pusher, pill roller
a health professional trained in the art of preparing and dispensing drugs
dental practitioner, dentist, tooth doctor
a person qualified to practice dentistry
Dr., MD, doc, doctor, medico, physician
a licensed medical practitioner
a nurse who raises another woman's child as her own
graduate nurse, trained nurse
someone who has completed the course of study (including hospital practice) at a nurses training school
head nurse
the person in charge of nursing in a medical institution
inoculator, vaccinator
a medical practitioner who inoculates people against diseases
LPN, licensed practical nurse, practical nurse
a nurse who has enough training to be licensed by a state to provide routine care for the sick
a woman in charge of nursing in a medical institution
medic, medical officer
a medical practitioner in the armed forces
accoucheuse, midwife
a woman skilled in aiding the delivery of babies
pharmaceutical chemist, pharmacologist
someone trained in the science of drugs (their composition and uses and effects)
probationer, student nurse
a nurse in training who is undergoing a trial period
RN, registered nurse
a graduate nurse who has passed examinations for registration
scrub nurse
a nurse who helps a surgeon prepare for surgery
visiting nurse
a nurse who is paid to visit the sick in their homes
Type of:
professional, professional person
a person engaged in one of the learned professions

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.