Caregiving can be a tough job


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UCLA recently conducted a study that suggests using yoga to engage in brief daily meditation can lead to lower levels of depression for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease. The loneliness, exhaustion, fear, stress and depression that can come with caregiving can take a toll on caregivers.

Dr. Helen Lavretsky, professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and her colleagues report a further benefit: a reduction in stress-induced cellular aging.

Dr. Lavretsky said that on average, the incidence and prevalence of clinical depression in family dementia caregivers approaches 50 percent.

Many caregivers may be opposed to the use of medication to help with depression because of the associated cost and drug side effects. That consideration motivated Dr. Lavretsky and her colleagues to test a brief mind-body intervention for stress reduction.

If you are a caregiver, consider giving yoga a try.

A Home Instead CAREGiver could help. Family caregivers who are tending to senior loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementias can turn to a Home Instead CAREGiver who is specially trained for the task.

For more about Alzheimer’s and other dementias, go to http://www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.com/. For more about the UCLA study, go to http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/help-for-family-dementia-caregivers-230448.aspx.

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