Charlottesville Organization Launches Caregiver Stress Relief Program
It's a reality many of us face: taking care of an aging family member. Many times, people are so busy caring for someone else, they forget about themselves.
Staff members at Home Instead Senior Care in Charlottesville say 1 in 3 caregivers will die before the person in their care. In response, they have launched the Family Caregiver Stress Relief Program, which is a set of online tools designed to help family members recognize and deal with issues while caring for others.
Home Instead Senior Care Owner Jeanne McCusker says caregiver distress can lead to serious issues like depression, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.
"You completely forget about yourself when you're caring for someone else. They are strictly the focus," she says.
And it's something McCusker has learned first-hand. "When my mom passed away, we had been caring for her for four years. I had bronchitis, appendicitis, and pneumonia within six months," she says. "People don't notice the toll it's taking on their body, and they really do need to take care of themselves."
McCusker says a large number of caregivers suffer in silence, but it's important to reach out for help when needed. She recommends local support groups, like the ones offered through area hospices, and the Alzheimer's Association.
Click here for the Family Caregiver Stress Relief Program.