UNC Health Talk

6 Tips to Relieve Caregiver Stress

caregiver and patient in a wheelchair
How to avoid caregiver stress

Taking care of a sick loved one is taxing on many levels. The work, the worry and the drain on time and money can have damaging effects on the caregiver’s own mental and physical health. The problem is so common that health experts have coined a name for it: ‘caregiver stress.’ Stressed-out caregivers have increased risk for high blood pressure, high insulin levels, impaired immune systems, depression and cardiovascular disease. Even worse, a study of spousal caregivers ages 66 to 96 found that those suffering from caregiver stress have a 63 percent higher death rate than noncaregivers of the same age. The bottom line: You can’t effectively care for your mate if you’re not in good health yourself.