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Caregiver Statistics

How much does stress weigh on YOU?

According to the National Family Caregivers Association, statistics show you age prematurely, your life is shortened, and your own health issues are costing you money when you are a family caregiver. Depression affects 40-70% of caregivers and ¼ of these people are severely depressed.

Some Statistics, provided by the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA):

  • Family caregivers experiencing extreme stress have been shown to age prematurely. This level of stress can take as much as 10 years off a family caregiver’s life. Elissa S. Epel, Dept of Psychiatry, Univ of Calif, SF, et al, From the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dec 7, 2004, Vol 101, No. 49.

  • 40% to 70% of family caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression with approximately a quarter to half of these caregivers meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression. Zarit, S. (2006). Assessment of Family Caregivers: A Research Perspective

  • A wife’s hospitalization increased her husband’s chances of dying within a month by 35%. A husband’s hospitalization boosted his wife’s mortality risk by 44%. Nicholas D. Christakis, Professor, Health-care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston and Suzanne Salamon, M.D., Associate Chief, Geriatric Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston, New England Journal of Medicine, Feb. 16, 2006

  • Nearly three quarters (72%) of family caregivers report not going to the doctor as often as they should and 55% say they skip doctor appointments for themselves. 63% of caregivers report having poor eating habits than non-caregivers and 58% indicate worse exercise habits than before caregiving responsibilities. Evercare Study of Caregivers in Decline: A Close-Up Look at Health Risks of Caring for a Loved One. National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare. 2006

  • Stress of family caregiving for persons with dementia has been shown to impact a person’s immune system for up to three years after their caregiving ends thus increasing their chances of developing a chronic illness themselves. Drs. Janice-Kiecolt Glaser and Ronald Glaser, “Chronic stress and age-related increases in the proinflammatory cytokine IL-6.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 30, 2003

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