In a recent article “Invisible Work” Toll Among Family and Unpaid Caregivers, a team led by Dr. Jennifer L. Wolff at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health set out to examine the nature and intensity of involvement that caregivers provide, and to assess how it relates to their health and function. This study comes at a time when, as our population continues to age, there is a great need for family caregivers who provide a crucial help managing a patient’s care, but are often invisible in our health care system.
Recently published research, in the Journal of the American Medicine Association, shows that caregivers who provided substantial health care assistance, compared to those who provided none, were more likely to report caregiving-related emotional difficulty (34% vs. 15%), physical difficulty (22% vs. 6%), and financial difficulty (23% vs. 7%). They were 5 times as likely to report that their care duties interfered with valued activities and caregivers who provided substantial health care assistance were also more than 3 times as likely to lose work productivity.
Add to this aging and the statistics worsen. Senior caregivers face the combination of prolonged stress & the physical demands of caring for someone with a life threatening illness, combined with the other factors of aging place that are challenging for all seniors.
Here at God’s Love, we know that home-delivered meals and medical nutrition therapy (MNT) benefit caregivers by easing the stress of preparing food and addressing their medical needs through nutrition before they become acute. MNT helps caregivers maximize the efficacy of medications and improves health outcomes. We recognize and understand the difficulties that our clients and families face and to relieve some of this stress, provide meals to the senior caregivers of our clients.
Every day, caregivers answer the call and lift up the lives of their loved ones who need additional support. Let’s recognize their contributions and continue working towards a future where all caregivers know the same support and understanding they show for those they look after.