Anyone who has ever cared for an aging, injured, or ill loved one understands the stress involved in caring for their daily needs. In addition to that stress, The New York Times recently highlighted the dangers of social isolation and loneliness that individuals who are the primary caregiver for a family member face. The article states that “Those who work with caregivers know this phenomenon well, especially when the cared-for person has dementia, a particularly arduous responsibility. ‘Caregiving is done with a lot of love and affection, but there’s a lot of loss involved,’ said Carey Wexler Sherman, a gerontologist at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. ‘People talk about friends disappearing, about even family members not wanting to be involved. It’s a lonely business.’ ”
In addition to social isolation, individuals can also experience caregiver burnout and poor physical and mental health. All of which can eventually lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, depression, and a higher mortality rate.
However, there are ways for caregivers to combat social isolation and take care of their own needs while helping others. Read more about these ways on our blog, The Secret to Avoiding Caregiver Burnout and Finding Balance.