How Does Caregiving Impact the Caregiver’s Health?
- 23% report their health has declined in the past five years due to caregiving
- 21% state their health has been negatively affected
- 54% expect to be caring for someone in the next five years
- 44% have made plans regarding health care decisions and living arrangements if something should happen to the person under their care. In contrast, likewise, 45% of the caregivers have done the same for themselves.
Caregivers Neglect Their Health
The Caregiver’s Impact on Health statistics tells me that caregivers don’t stop and take the time necessary to care for themselves. Instead, their focus is on the person receiving care, and they selflessly take themselves out of the picture. Now, I’m not saying they don’t complain about it, but they put the other person’s needs before their own. For example, if the one receiving care gets sick, and the caregiver has an appointment, the caregiver cancels their own doctor’s appointment and often does not reschedule using the excuse that it takes too much time.
Who Cares for the Caregiver?
Due to caregiving burdens, many caregivers are isolated and don’t have an opportunity to nurture friendships or family connections. Twenty-one percent report feeling alone as a result. In 2015, 48% of caregivers reported their health as very good; only 41% do so now. Instead, those reporting their health as fair to poor increased from 17% to 21%. Twenty-one percent say it’s difficult to care for their health, and 23% of caregivers report that their health has declined. As a result, both the care receiver and the caregiver will need care in the future. But, who will provide care to them both when the need for resources doubles?