According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and its report - "Caregiving Costs: Declining Health in the Alzheimer's Caregiver as Dementia Increases in the Care Recipient" - as dementia worsens, caregivers' health is affected as well.
Researchers determined this after assigning health scores to family caregivers who were providing for individuals afflicted with Alzheimer's. Over time, these scores declined, while health care services increased.
This report supports what the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists recently announced regarding caregivers, which emphasized the importance of placing a priority on their own well-being too.
"After learning of a loved one's diagnosis, family members can sometimes become so focused on their loved ones' everyday needs that they overlook their own physical and mental health," CAMFT said.
CAMFT added that caregivers should seek out activities that promote their own physical and mental health to stay well while helping their loved ones. Caregivers can keep healthy by getting regular check-ups, get the recommended immunizations, eating healthy and taking some time for themselves to relax.