There’s helpful news for family caregivers. Two new free tools designed to help them better understand their role and deal with the stress that can accompany it are now available.
A family caregiver is anyone who plays a role in an older loved one’s care—a role that can be challenging. According to The Family Caregiver Alliance, family caregivers report chronic conditions, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes, at nearly twice the rate (45 percent vs. 24 percent) of non-family caregivers.
Plus, a recent study from Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network (www.homeinstead.com), indicates a reluctance to ask for help and chronic illness are two characteristics that can make family caregivers more vulnerable to caregiver distress. Each Home Instead Senior Care® franchise office is independently owned and operated.
To help, Home Instead recently released two new tools free for family caregivers. Their “Are You a Caregiver Quiz” is designed to help a family caregiver identify and recognize the role of caregiver. The “Family Caregiver Distress Assessment” was created to enable caregivers to help determine their potential risk for caregiver distress and to be aware of its possible resulting effects, such as depression, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.
Many who completed the assessment identified “watching their loved one decline” both physically and mentally as most stressful.
“It’s important for caregivers to understand that stress can impact one’s ability to care,” company president Jeff Huber said. “If they don’t care for themselves, they may put their senior loved ones at risk.”