You may not know of any family caregivers in your circle of friends but more than 43.5 million people in the United States are providing some type of unpaid care for a family member or child. All caregivers, whether informal or professional, face similar challenges. For example, caregivers are at high risk for caregiver fatigue, isolation or burnout. This is a condition that is rooted in stress and can result in serious health consequences ranging from high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, or increased physical illness.
Caregivers typically receive less help than they need to stay as healthy as possible, and they often put the needs of their loved ones ahead of their own. Unfortunately, this means that informal caregivers often skip their own annual doctor appointments or preventative care because they are overwhelmed coordinating care for their loved ones.
This Caregiver Appreciation Day, make it a point to keep your eyes peeled for the caregivers in your life, whether they’re professional caregivers or informal caregivers. Most caregivers feel quite alone, and your acknowledgment of their work, along with tangible help, can make them feel supported.