The Healthy Heart of a Caregiver


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It’s National Heart Month – time set aside to remind us all of the importance of a healthy heart.

Did you know that according to the CDC, heart disease is the number one cause of death in America? Not only that, but it is the leading cause of death for seniors and for women. In fact, heart disease kills more US women every year than the top four cancers combined.

This is a pretty startling fact for family caregivers, who are probably acutely aware of the cardio-care needs of the senior in their lives but may be neglecting their own heart health.

In fact, last year Caregiverstress.com reported on Evercare/National Alliance for Caregiving Study of Caregivers — What They Spend, What They Sacrifice. Of the family caregivers surveyed, they cited the following statistics:

  • Heightened stress or anxiety (65 percent);
  • Difficulty sleeping (49 percent);
  • Increased financial worries (43 percent);
  • Depression or hopelessness (37 percent), and
  • New or worsening health problems (26 percent)

All of these personal health challenges family caregivers tend to face can also be linked to causes of heart disease.

But National Heart Month is a great time to start to do something about it.

Whether you have heart health concerns or not, I invite you to do one simple thing for your heart every day for the month of February. It could be tracking your stress level on our Caregiver Stress Meter, swapping out chips for a heart-healthy snack when you finally get a few minutes to sit down, or asking a friend, relative or Home Instead CAREGiver to hold down the fort for a few hours so that you can get some rest, take a walk, get to the gym or just have some you-time.

For more information about caregiver concerns, please call (541) 330-6400, visit our Home Instead Senior Care of Central Oregon website or Like us on Facebook.

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