Meet The Caregiving Doctor®

Clarissa Smith, Ph.D., MA, OTR/L, is known as “The Caregiving Doctor®.” She is widely considered the “Mother of Family Caregiving” today.  Clarissa became a family caregiver at eight years-old, when her mom was shot while standing right beside her. Months later, she helped to bathe, dress, and change her mom’s colostomy bag. At 17, she became a nursing assistant, working in a VA Nursing Home in Memphis, Tennessee. Decades later, she is a licensed occupational therapist working in hospitals, nursing homes, home health, and other eldercare settings. She is a sought-out speaker, workshop leader, and conference keynote on family caregiving issues around the world.

Her mission is to empower, educate, and equip families to care for a growing and aging demographic that will dramatically increase in numbers over the next few decades.

Dr. Smith is a radio host of her show, “The Caregiving Doctor® Show,” and has interviewed actors, comedians, politicians, educators, authors, pastors, musicians, nonprofit organizations, physicians, and many others. She has published over 250 articles in geriatrics in Advance Magazine, and the current author of over 30 family caregiving booklets and children’s books. She is the Founder and President of Caregiving International Ministries.

Clarrisa's Parents
My Parents

Clarissa Fells Smith launched the first intergenerational-child care centers in Birmingham, Alabama and continues to impact families, churches, communities, and organizations concerned with an aging adult and their family caregivers.

The Caregiving Doctor® resides in Birmingham, Alabama with her family. She is a graduate of The University of Alabama at Birmingham, and holds several credentials including: Certified Aging in Place Specialist, Certified Geriatric Care Manager, and a current doctoral candidate in the Doctoral of Ministry Program in Pastoral Counseling at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

You can contact Dr. Smith at or email her at