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Effects of Caregiver Burden

             Today in the medical field there is an infirmity known as caregiver burden. " The chronic, demanding nature of family caregiving for frail older adults creates a high degree of stress for caregivers called caregiver burden" (Silver, H.J., and Wellman, N.S., 2002, p. S53). It is related to the effects caused by offering direct physical, mental, or emotional care to a spouse, loved-one, child, parent, etc. There is an associated etiology to the specific illness. "Providing care over prolonged periods can affect both physical and mental health of the caregiver" (Farcnik, K., and Persyko, M.S., 2002, p. 205). Stress, which causes an immediate breakdown in immune response is one such problem associated with caregiver burden. "Vedhera et al. concluded that carers may be more vulnerable to infectious diseases than a population of a similar age" (Tarrier, N., and Barrowclough, C., Ward, J., Donaldson, C., Burns, A., Gregg, L., 2002, p. 341).
             Other related illnesses or infirmities such as: " increased incidence of physical impairments, immunosuppression, elevated insulin levels, chronic fatigue, and insomnia has been documented in caregiving populations" (Silver, H.J., and Wellman, N.S., 2002, p. S55). Older adults are frequently the givers of care for their family member. "These caregivers report an inability to rest, exercise, recuperate from illness, and take medications (Silver, H.J., and Wellman, N.S., 2002, p. S55).
             Negative Effects on Caregivers.
             Most significant of all, of the elder care-giving population the mortality rate is 63% higher than their non-care-giving cohorts (Silver, H.J., and Wellman, N.S., 2002). This, in and of itself should create stress on the care-giving population! .
             "The negative effect on the caregiver's social life, job stressors and family problems are considered secondary stressors" (Farcnik, K., and Persyko, M.S., 2002, p. 204). These stressors are some of the stressors that cause emotional, psychological, and physical stress to the caregiver.

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