BY RIMAS JASIN AND JUDY ZANGWILL | Every year, millions of people vow to eat healthier, exercise more, and stress less. But, too often caregivers who care for a loved one skip the New Year’s resolution and continue to forgo taking care of themselves. This year, let’s change that. Caregivers: let’s vow to take care of ourselves too.
In Manhattan alone there are an estimated 30,000 residents living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Nearly 60 percent of their caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high; about 40 percent suffer from depression. One in five caregivers cut back on their own doctor visits because of their care responsibilities. And, among caregivers, 74 percent report they are “somewhat” to “very” concerned about maintaining their own health since becoming a caregiver. But a sick or stressed caregiver does no one any good.