In celebration of National Caregiver Month (November!), I want to share the idea that caring for a chronically ailing or disabled family member might be good for you! … what? Really? After all, we hear about caregivers being depressed, stressed, and fatigued…
Dr. David Roth, in the American Journal of Epidemiology (2013), presents his “healthy caregiver hypothesis” and shows non-caregivers have higher mortality rates than caregivers! Thus, we can’t dismiss the idea that caregiving can help increase physical activity, mental stimulation (multitasking!), social connection, sense of purpose and usefulness (L. Freedman)!
Paula Span, of The New York Times’ “The New Old Age Blog” does a great job of summarizing these findings here! On a side note, I had the pleasure of hearing Paula at the keynote address at the Canadian Association on Gerontology meeting last month (see HERE and pic below).
… and I love this quote:
“caregivers are among the privileged ones who can make a difference in the life of the patient”.
Don’t forget to hug a caregiver this month! much love.