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Caregiver depression…it could happen

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on November 16, 2010 with No Comments

Caregiver depression…it could happen to you

More than 65 million people, 29 percent of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one. Thirty six percent of family caregivers care for a parent, and seven out of 10 caregivers are caring for loved ones over the age of 50.

Providing care for a loved one is a noble, caring and sometimes necessary thing to do.

It can bring great joy to give your time to someone who is rehabilitating after an accident, disabled or suffering from a terminal illness or disease. Caregiving can also become a vicious cycle that may one day cause you to become the person receiving care from a loved one.

Once an overlooked category, caregiver depression has now been deemed a crisis by the National Alliance for Caregiving. The health of the caregiver has garnered widespread attention over the past decade due to the discovery that a family caregiver is more like likely to develop major depression than the rest of the population.

Many caregivers hold full-time jobs yet spend at least 20 hours a week caring for a loved one.

Caregivers pay a financial due to missing work or out-of-pocket expenses relating to the care they give. Hence, caregivers find they have neither the time nor the money to seek adequate care for themselves. Many report not practicing healthy eating habits or exercising on a regular basis.

Caregivers become isolated because they have no time or energy left over after caring for someone else. These factors can cause psychological distress, affecting the ability to provide proper care for another. When caregivers become depressed, they find it hard to perform duties such as cooking, cleaning and remembering to give medication on a timely basis.

Caregivers themselves are sometimes unaware they are clinically depressed.

Feelings of sadness and stress are viewed as being natural in the course of watching someone you love suffer or deteriorate. Balancing caregiving with their own lives ñ raising families, working and maintaining their own households and expenses ñ compounds anxiety.

More often than not, caregivers place their needs last, increasing the chances of negatively affecting their health.

Comfort Keepers provides in-home care that allows seniors to remain independent in their homes. For more information about Comfort Keepers, visit www.comfortkeepers.com.

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