The NIH Clinical Center Recognizes Family Caregivers

Family Caregivers

Providing care to a family member or friend is a common yet challenging experience for many in the US1. An estimated 43.5 million people in the US serve as unpaid family caregivers, affecting approximately 36.5 million households. The majority of caregivers (82%) provide care to one family member, and an estimated 30% provide care to two or more individuals1.

Family members and friends often serve as caregivers and provide unconditional emotional, practical, and physical support. Activities can include maintaining the home, preparing meals, administering medications, tending to medical needs, driving to medical appointments, coordinating medical care, and providing support and encouragement. Each situation is different and as the disease and/or treatment changes so does the caregiver’s role.

This partnership is essential to support a loved one who is dealing with the challenges of serious illness or treatment. Although many caregivers report positive effects from the caregiving experience, one in five caregivers reports a high level of physical strain, and two in five report their caregiving situation to be emotionally stressful1. Therefore, caregivers request more information on or help with caregiving topics such as safety at home, managing emotional and physical stress, and managing medical/nursing tasks at home.

The patients who come to the NIH Clinical Center to participate in studies may have rare, complicated conditions. They along with you, their caregiver, may face unique challenges. As a family caregiver, you know how to take care of others. But it's also important to take time out to "REST:"
-Relax
-Eat Healthy and Stay Active
-Sleep
-Take care of yourself

Reference:
1. National Alliance for Caregiving 2015 Report PDF Icon (1.7 MB)

NOTE: PDF documents require the free Adobe Reader.

This page last updated on 08/01/2017

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