Help for Caregivers

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Most Americans will be caregivers at some point during their lives. During any given year, there are more than 44 million Americans who provide unpaid care to an elderly or disabled person 18 years or older. Dr. Edward Hill discusses caregiving in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

A caregiver is any friend or relative who provides unpaid care for someone with a chronic or disabling condition.

Caregiving is associated with personal satisfaction in helping a loved one. However, most caregivers feel unprepared to provide care. Caregivers report having less time to spend with other family members and friends. They may have trouble with money because of their caregiving expenses. They also are less likely to make time for regular health care for themselves. Caregivers with high stress levels are at risk of serious medical problems.

When taking the person you are caring for to the doctor, it is important to tell the doctor that you are the caregiver. The doctor can refer you to other resources for help.

Make sure to take time for yourself. Find ways to help relieve your stress, such as talking to friends or family, exercising, meditating, or praying. It also may help to find other support services in your area.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.