While caregiving can be rewarding, caregiver stress takes a heavy toll on the caregivers (watch Lawrence’s Story). Family caregivers are more prone to stress and depression, and may be at higher risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer. And elderly caregivers have a higher mortality rate than non-caregivers of the same age.
Caregiver stress is also caused by the financial challenges of caregiving (watch Cathy’s Story). About 22 million working Americans are caregivers. Working caregivers may face lost wages, lost benefits and lost or lower retirement benefits as a result of going part-time or quitting altogether. Caregivers can spend thousands of dollars of their own money on caregiving. The struggles of caregivers are highly personal and profound, but they can also bring families together (watch Chris & Ann’s Story).