A lot of caregiving for older adults rests on the shoulders of family members. While most do the best job they can with the resources they have, the fact is that most family caregivers are untrained and unpaid. Nevertheless, they’re tasked with this tremendously important job. Many caregivers experience extreme stress in caring for their loved one.
Caregiver stress impacts more than just the caregiver. Many times the older adult receives the brunt of this stress, primarily in two different ways:
- Premature placement of the older adult in a nursing home when the caregiver becomes overly stressed, frustrated and overworked. This is compounded by the caregiver’s own life, which is filled with its own set of stresses and problems.
- Elder abuse is a troubling issue that no one is comfortable talking about, but occurs very frequently; 90% of elder abuse is committed by a family member. Today, 2 million older adults suffer from physical, sexual, emotional and mental abuse at the hands of their caregivers.
There are many programs that can help caregivers relieve their stress before it gets out of hand. These range from local caregiver support groups to adult day programs and home care for the older adult.
These are a few resources to get you started:
There is no way to eliminate all stress for all people every day. But let’s do the right thing and treat older adults well every day of the week.
This blog is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your health or medical needs.