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I want to write a book about the unfair expectations of a caregiver. A caregiver refers to somebody to looks after somebody else. What is the term for that 'somebody else'. 'Patient' doesn't seem all encompassing.

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    Patient is probably most appropriate. Client is a good term as well. After that, it's subjective. – anongoodnurse Mar 13 '14 at 3:24
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    Notice how caretaker and caregiver mean almost the same thing? – John Lawler Mar 13 '14 at 3:38
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    Opposite of caregiver to me is abuser or tormenter. Maybe who does caregiver take care of? – RyeɃreḁd Mar 13 '14 at 3:55
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    I think KKSim is looking for the complement of "caregiver," not its opposite. – A Brooks Mar 13 '14 at 4:36
  • Maybe we need a neologism caregetter? – bib Mar 13 '14 at 12:39
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Charge or ward might be appropriate to this meaning.

Patient implies that they have a medical condition that requires looking after. But, perhaps they merely have a generalized condition requiring constant care. If it is medically stable and doesn't need any acute treatment, it seems inapt to refer to them as a patient.

Whereas, it would be a perfectly legitimate catchall to say:

The caretaker spent his time watching over his charge.

This does not imply that their relationship is restricted to being medical in nature.

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Dependent works whether the caregiver is paid, unpaid, related or unrelated to the disabled individual.

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  • Talking about someone's dependent immediately makes me think of taxes. The dictionary Google uses says it means there is a financial relationship: google.com/search?q=define%3Adependent. – A Brooks Mar 13 '14 at 4:35
  • I think this is the best word. Dependent means someone reliant on another. – RyeɃreḁd Mar 13 '14 at 4:48
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The care recipient or receiver of care or person in care seemed to get used in official language.

The cared-for perhaps.

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Charge is a person or thing committed to the care (meaning in the care) of another. (source at 3d)

Children is day care are called charges.

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In the BE version of the care sector, I've heard them called: Clients, Service Users, Residents (of a Care Home / Hospice), and even (occasionally) Caree.

Patients is still common in hospital settings, but not as a form of address where names are used to be assured of the correct treatment reaching it's target.

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  • +1 because I agree with all of these, but the relationship is not always a profession one. It could be a relative caring for an invalid relative, etc. – David M Mar 13 '14 at 18:07
  • We still refer to them as care-givers, if the care-giver is below 16 years, it is referred to as a "Tough living Situation". If it's not a professional relationship, I imagine they call each-other all sorts of things, but I've not encountered a specific word describing the recipient of care in this case, with the exception of "invalid", as in "I'm the sole carer of my invalid mum". – A Rogue Ant. Mar 14 '14 at 10:09
  • I agree with that part. Just the client, etc is inapt in those cases. – David M Mar 14 '14 at 10:13
  • ok, You see,I am the caregiver , to my husband who suffered a stroke, so he's the 'other name I am looking for.' However, I'd rather not say he is the care-receiver, he's more like a care-taker, care being the opposite of give (and there-in lies the problem because a caretaker can also be a caregiver, and not the opposite. My Chinese pals just shake their heads and justify their adversity to learning English. – KKSim Apr 9 '14 at 3:34

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