Ask five different people how to describe a family caregiver, and you’ll get five different answers. Whether it’s raising young children or looking after elderly parents and loved ones, caregiving is a difficult task that is frequently combined with an equally challenging day job. Yet despite 53 million1 U.S. adults identifying as caregivers, myths abound about the role, and companies that better understand and support their employees’ caregiving needs can reap significant rewards.

Myth #1: Family caregivers are women with aging parents or children with special needs who live at home with them.