The positives of caregiving are that it can provide a sense of purpose and community, while the negatives are that it can be emotionally draining.
What are the cons
- There has been a link between unpaid caregiving and health problems.
- Unpaid caregiving can be harmful to one’s health.
- Major Depressive Disorder
- Anxiety Disorder
- Substance Abuse Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
A majority of caregivers (58%) say that their health has declined since they started providing care, while nearly half (47%) report having difficulty giving their loved ones the level of care they need because of it.
Many caregivers and their families experience economic hardships through lost wages and additional medical expenses. In 2009, 27% of caregivers reported a moderate to high degree of financial hardship as a result of caregiving.
What are the positive impact of providing care for an older adult?
There are many benefits to providing care for an older adult, both physically and emotionally. Physical benefits include reducing the risk of falls and injuries, improving cardiovascular health, and helping to maintain independence. Emotional benefits include improved moods and feelings of well-being. However, there are also a number of challenges associated with providing care for an older adult. Among these are the increased demands on both time and energy, as well as the potential for stress-related health problems. It is important to consider all of the pros and cons before making a decision about whether or not to provide care for an older adult in your loved ones’ lives.
Many people who provide care for family members with chronic illnesses or disabling conditions find that it provides them with a sense of fulfillment.
- Feeling needed and useful
- Learning something about one’s self, others, and the meaning of life
- Establishment of extended social networks or friendship groups associated with caregiving
- Feeling happy and content
- A sense of accomplishment
In 2009, a study found that 25% of US adults 18 years of age and older provided care or assistance to someone with a long-term illness or disability in the past 30 days. This form of care is known as “informal or unpaid care” because it is provided by family or friends rather than by paid caregivers. The study estimated the one year value of this activity as $450 billion dollars.