Caregivers of veterans suffer from more stress and years of care


November 10, 2010

While family caregivers can experience both physical and emotional stress from their responsibilities toward a spouse or elderly parent, a new survey has shown that those who are caring for veterans suffer these effects even more – they were found to be twice as stressed and care for a senior for twice as long on average.

The National Alliance for Caregiving's study has also found that the vast majority (96 percent) of those who are attending veterans are women. This is much higher than the normal rate for caregivers, which is 65 percent women. Only one-third of those polled said that they had used home healthcare aides.

"The family caregivers who serve our country's veterans are making huge sacrifices in terms of their own health, careers and home life," said Reed Tuckson chief of medical affairs, UnitedHealth Group. "It is incumbent upon all of us to help them find support and solutions to preserve their own health and well being."

Tuckson added that neighbors and other family members should do what they can to help these caregivers with their responsibilities.

One solution that can alleviate some of the burden of caregiving is to install a senior alert system. This medical alarm can be used by an older adult if they require assistance, which can allow the caregiver to run errands or relax for a few hours.