Providing senior care for an elderly family member can take a toll on the caregiver, as shown in a recently released study by Harris Interactive. From the stress of handling an aging loved one's medical needs to balancing caregiving and other family responsibilities, those tasked with assisting a parent or other elderly relative may find their lives heavily affected.
Nearly two-thirds of participants in the study noted losing sleep at times due to their caregiving duties, as well as more than half reporting negative effects on their own and other family member's needs. Polled individuals included those providing care for elderly as well as disabled family members.
Caregiving is often a stressful endeavor, as shown by the increasing awareness of compassion fatigue. The Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project notes that constant focus on others' needs can result in bottled-up emotions and feelings of isolation, labeling the syndrome a secondary traumatic stress disorder.
The Harris survey found that the vast majority - 88 percent - of respondents have experienced stress in connection with their caregiving duties. Although this may be unavoidable in many cases, the services of a private care attendant may ease the level of responsibility and free up time for family and personal tasks.