[MOL] Caregivers Pay Toll in own health...Caregivers Educational Series. [01847] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Caregivers Pay Toll in own health...Caregivers Educational Series...4-0f 6...

Caregivers Pay Toll in Own Health

      Caring for an aging or ill relative or spouse can be difficult, but it also can strain the caregiver's physical and mental health.
      That's according to a new study published in the March issue of Journal of Health and Social Behavior. Researchers from Indiana University in Bloomington studied 3,000 women between the ages of 50 and 65 to assess how being a caregiver impacted their emotional and physicial well-being.
      The study found emotional distress worsened the longer the woman was acting as a caregiver. However, physical limitations, such as difficulty standing, stooping, picking up objects, walking or using the stairs peaked early in the caregiver's role and then leveled off. Researchers say women may adapt to the physical demands of being a caregiver, but the job still may take a toll on them emotionally.
      "These findings provide new information about the health effects of caregiving and have broader implications for understanding how women's involvement in multiple roles affects their health and well-being," says lead researcher Eliza K. Pavalko. "At least half of American women will care for a disabled family member during their lifetime."
      As more Americans live well into their 70s, 80s and 90s, the number of people caring for a disabled, aging or ill relative or spouse is also expected to rise. The issue of caregiving has recently caught the attention of the federal government. Researchers say all levels of government need to implement better policies to help caregivers.
      This study was funded by the National Institute of Aging, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Center for Aging Research at Indiana University.
--By Katrina Woznicki

Warmly, lillian
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