How Many Family Caregivers Have to Test Positive for Caregiving Stress?

Denise

How Many Family Caregivers Have to Test Positive for Caregiving Stress?

Denise
flasks-606612_640What if we had a test which could indicate whether we are positive for caregiving stress? Would that help us get funding to help prevent and treat the stress which ails us?

I follow the funding for the Zika virus. On Friday, I read that The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will give Nevada almost $700,000 to fight the Zika virus. Two individuals who reside in Nevada have tested positive for the Zika virus.

I wonder how family caregivers have to test positive for caregiving stress in Nevada in order for that state to receive CDC funding to help? We know that at least 44 million individuals in the U.S. care for a family member or friend. (Some put the number much higher, like more than 90 million.) In our stress survey, 80% of survey respondents rate their stress as being 4 or 5 on a scale of 5 with 5 being the most stressed. (The weighted average is 4.13.) If my numbers reflect the general caregiving population, then 80% of family caregivers (or at least 35 million individuals) are really stressed.

Are those numbers large enough to fund help for them?

A respondent in our stress survey describes the stress as "built-up pressure from being only child distance caregiver traveling back and forth 2,500 miles to care for Mom with progressing dementia." Another writes, "Too many carees, too much responsibility, and the legal paperwork hasn't come through yet, so I'm operating at a real disadvantage." "Future for adult son with severe physical disability, single parent," shares another. " "No support from siblings who just want money from ailing parent's estate," another respondents writes. "Court battles over conservatorship."

A family caregiver who signed our petition for the CDC to track family caregiver stress and its source wrote, "I'm signing because I've been a caregiver for 7 years to my mother who is now 68, and is completely dependent in every way due to a rare dementia called Semantic Dementia and Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). My own health, at 43 now, has been horribly impacted. Please acknowledge, help, and change policy to advocate for the isolated, drained, care warriors whose stories are never heard."

Want to help get family caregivers help? You can:

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