Good Health Is Crucial to Caregiving

Good Health Is Crucial to Caregiving
A recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins University indicates that caregivers aren’t nearly as susceptible to poor health as once believed, as providing care has no more significance on a caregiver’s immune system than any other job. For years, caregivers have seen studies that reached the opposite conclusion, that caregiving carried such an enormous amount of stress that it negatively affected one’s health. It’s not too difficult to understand why this was an accepted theory. By the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, those affected are left with fewer and fewer abilities. Over time, they’re unable to complete tasks without a caregiver’s assistance. The toll on a caregiver is great, and they often become weary and tired. But weariness isn’t equal to an extensively weakened immune system, as shown by the Johns Hopkins University study. However, there is a danger that caregivers will subconsciously use the study as an excuse to go haphazardly through life, ignoring habits that ensure good health. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers caregiving an important public health issue, and caregivers should, too. They may not be as susceptible to disease as once thought, but caregivers who fail to pay attention to personal health are still vulnerable. This is especially true as caregivers age. In the U.S., the average caregiver is 49.2 years old, and 34 percent are 65 or older. Those in the age range of 18-49 comprise 48 percent of caregivers. Within these age categories, 53 percent claim to have experienced a health decline, which in turn compromised caregiving duties. A 2017 study by the CDC reported that 17.6 percent of caregivers within a given month experienced physically unhealthy days that lasted two weeks or more. Additionally, 14
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