Caregiver Support

Over 50 million Americans provide unpaid care for an adult with an illness or disability. Caregiving can be exhausting and emotionally draining, especially when it requires being constantly “on-call.” Stress accumulates over time until it becomes unmanageable and puts the caregiver at risk of getting sick. Getting support is one of the most important steps you can take to stay healthy and able to continue caregiving without completely burning out.

Some Facts About Caregiving

  • About 59 – 75% of caregivers are women
  • Caregivers who are not able to reduce their stress levels:
    • Are more likely to have symptoms of depression or anxiety.
    • Are more likely to have a long-term medical problem, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or arthritis.
    • Have higher levels of stress hormones.
    • Spend more days sick with an infectious disease.
    • Have a weaker immune response to the flu vaccine.
    • Have slower wound healing.
    • Have higher levels of obesity.
    • May be at higher risk for mental decline, including problems with memory and paying attention.
    • One research study found that elderly people who felt stressed while taking care of their disabled spouses were 63% more likely to die within four years than caregivers who were not feeling stressed.

Caregiving may be putting too much stress on you if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Gaining or losing a lot of weight
  • Feeling tired most of the time
  • Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Easily irritated or angered
  • Worrying constantly
  • Often feeling sad and/or crying
  • Frequent headaches, bodily pain, or other physical problems
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs

I have worked with caregivers for 25 years. If caregiving is taking over your life, please contact me for help and support.


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