A caregiver is a person who provides care for another person who is in need of such care. The term is found in different types of such roles:
- An unpaid or paid person who helps another individual with an impairment with his or her activities of daily living (also called carer, mainly in the U.K.). Caregiving is most commonly used to address impairments related to old age, disability, a disease, or a mental disorder.
- The term caregiver is also used traditionally for the stay-at-home parent who is the primary person who looks after the children.
- Caregiver or caretaker can also refer to people providing care as nannies, babysitters or governesses, in crèches (daycare), or in preschool education. The children a caregiver looks after are called their charges.
Caregivers and spankingEdit
Traditionally in and up to 1979 everywhere on Earth, and in most countries to the present day, parents had or have a legal right to use justified nonabusive corporal punishment, including spanking, as a parenting tool to fulfill their responsibilities as a parent. This right can also be extended to caretakers who act in loco parentis, either explicitly (by the parent's explicit authorization) or implicitly (when another law permits such forms of punishment to caretakers, teachers and similar professions). In practice, non-parent caretakers are likely to use physical punishment, if at all, more sparingly and lighter than parents do in the same culture. Typically they are more likely to refer the issue back to the parents to deal with than deal with it themselves.
As of 2006, nineteen U.S. states allow teachers and parent-authorized caregivers (in the sense of #3 above) to spank children (and administer other forms of corporal punishment): Iowa, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Montana, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Caregivers to adults generally have no right to use any form of corporal punishment, even if the adult has the mental state of, and perhaps similar needs to a child. Occasionally the press informs about cases of physical abuse of elderly, disabled or mentally disordered people by their caregivers.
In ageplay, often one person assumes the role of an infant or toddler (adult baby or teen baby) and the other the role of their caretaker (which can be mommy, daddy, babysitter, nanny, etc.). The roleplay permits 'care' activities such as dressing and undressing, giving a bath, diapering, applying baby oil and/or baby powder, spoon- and bottle-feeding, (pretended) breastfeeding, putting to bed for a nap, and perhaps also 'disciplining' activities such as scolding, light spanking or time-outs.
- Nineteen States Allow Teachers to Spank Children, article on the Smithsonian magazine
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