Posted by: Bert Copple | February 1, 2013

The Healthy Heart of a Caregiver

Today is National Wear Red Day and I’m not just talking about for 49ers fans.

This National Wear Red Day kicks off the American Heart Association’s 10th anniversary of the Go Red for Women national heart campaign and it serves as an important reminder that heart disease is the number one cause of death in America, according to the CDC.

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 today, the first day of February, National Heart Month, is a great day 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 248-203-2273, visit our website, or like us on Facebook.

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