Elk Valley Times

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Tools to help avoid the dangers of caregiver distress

Posted on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 6:39 am

Nearly one-third of adults living in Coffee, Franklin, Bedford, Lincoln, Moore and Rutherford counties are family caregivers who could be at risk for heart disease, diabetes, depression and various other physical end emotional maladies as a result of caregiver distress, a potentially dangerous condition brought on by the pressures of caring for a senior loved one.

In response to this growing issue, the local Home Instead Senior Care office has launched a public awareness campaign — Family Caregiver Stress ReliefSM at FamilyCaregiverStressRelief.com — to help family caregivers determine if they are at risk for distress and to minimize problems before they escalate.

Included in the program are two new tools: The Are You a Caregiver Quiz, which is designed to help a family caregiver self-identify and recognize the role of a caregiver, and the Family Caregiver Distress Assessment, adapted for the Home Instead Senior Care network by Dr. Peter Vitaliano of the University of Washington. The assessment allows caregivers to determine their risk for distress and resulting emotional and physical issues, including depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

“So many spouses and adult children are unaware of their potential risk of caregiver distress because they don’t see themselves as caregivers. These new resources enable them to understand their role, the stresses they may face as a caregiver, and how that stress might lead to more serious health effects,” said Jessie Davis, owner of the local Home Instead Senior Care office. “It’s important for caregivers to understand that stress can impact one’s ability to care. If they don’t care for themselves, they may put their senior loved ones at risk. Whether it’s support groups, stress management techniques or respite help, caregivers need to realize the importance of managing their health, too.”

For more information about the services of the Home Instead Senior Care office in Coffee, Franklin, Bedford, Lincoln, Moore and Rutherford counties call (931) 454-2202 in Tullahoma and (615) 867-2205 in Murfreesboro or visit homeinstead.com/254.