Spouses Face Hurdles When Caring for Elderly Loved Ones

by MichelleR on June 25, 2010

I recently met with a daughter who is concerned about the stress of her father taking care of her mother.  Though he is exhausted from caregving he still wants to be in control in overseeing the day to day needs to help his wife.  

If you find yourself in the same situation checkout www.caregiverstress.com that will provide additional information on how caregiving impacts each of us without us realizing the physical and emotional toll.  Enjoy the article below.

Caring for a sick or disabled elderly relative is difficult – physically, emotionally and financially – on any family member, and spousal caregivers face even greater challenges.

“Spouses are older and dealing with their own age-related health limitations,” says Steven H. Zarit, a Pennsylvania University gerontologist.

According to a Kaiser Health News report, today’s longer life spans, in which once-fatal conditions like heart disease have become manageable chronic illnesses, mean the “sickness” part of “in sickness and health” can last for years.

Medical and psychological literature has long reported that caregivers face risks to their own well-being, particularly when caring for someone with dementia. A new study from the University of South Florida and the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that high caregiving strain among spouses increased the risk of stroke by 23 percent, and the association was particularly strong among husbands caring for wives.

“Spouses are likely to take on more than they can reasonably do,” Zarit says.

President Barack Obama’s proposed 2011 budget would add $102.5 million for family caregiving programs. The money would boost existing programs that serve family caregivers, including training and counseling, referrals, respite care, transportation, adult day programs and home care.   Read the in-depth article online.

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