What are the needs of family caregivers of newly disabled adults? Research to date has focused on the needs of family members of patients in critical care units and of family members who have been in the caregiver role at home for some time. No studies could be found on the perceptions of individuals facing the decision to assume the family caregiver role for a newly disabled adult anticipating discharge from a physical rehabilitation or medical-surgical nursing unit. Watson's philosophy of science and caring provided the theoretical basis for this study. The Elaine Matthis Educational Wants of Family Caregivers of Disabled Adults Questionnaire was used to assess the perceptions of prospective family caregivers visiting newly disabled adults in an urban medical center. The results of this research are offered to help nurses understand the feelings of uncertainty about the new and unexpected role that family caregivers face and to help nurses meet the needs of families preparing to take disabled adult relatives home.