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Why Being a Caregiver is So Hard

Caregiving creates stress, can be long-term commitment


Senior woman, caregiver and medicine
Silvia Jansen/Vetta/Getty Images
If the stress of being a caregiver is wearing you down and you need caregiver support, you are not alone.

One out of four U.S. households provides caregiving. According to the American Society on Aging:

  • Nearly one out of every four U.S. households—roughly 22 million—provide caregiver services to a relative or friend over 50
  • 40 percent of caregivers are also raising children
  • 64 percent work either full- or part-time

Being a caregiver is a long-term commitment. For most people who take on the responsibility of providing care to someone with serious health issues, it’s not a short-term commitment.

The National Alliance for Caregiving reports that, on average, caregivers spend four and a half years providing care, and about 12 hours each week on caregiver duties.

Being a caregiver takes a toll. Being a caregiver takes a toll on you—physically and emotionally—and it can also create enormous financial pressures that add to your stress.

One study by the National Center on Women and Aging found that, on average, caregivers lose $659,130 over their lifetime in reduced salary and retirement benefits.

How can you cope with the stress of being a caregiver?

Read on for tips on caregiver support that can help you stay healthy and make things a little easier while you’re caring for someone else.

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