This preliminary study is part of an ongoing action research project in three different kinds of hospitals Two wards in each hospital volunteered for the study The purpose was to discover in which activities of daily living informal caregivers currently participate and to what extent Participation of informal caregivers consisted of 17 activities Elderly patients (n= 45) eligible for the study and informal caregivers (n= 147) completed a questionnaire They were asked in which daily activities informal caregivers participate and how often, options ranging from daily to never Responses of informal caregivers are reported in this paper Results indicated that relatives and other significant others visited elderly hospital patients often, however, their participation in activities of daily living in hospitals was limited Mostly they gave emotional support and helped the patient to drink, stand up/get into bed and sit Implications for nursing are discussed