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Health Risks and Solutions for Senior Caregivers

Health Risks and Solutions for Senior Caregivers

The presence of a caring and loving partner may be beneficial to aging in place successfully.

But, caring for a disabled spouse at home can be highly stressful. Senior caregivers, especially, are at greater risk than their younger counterparts for health problems associated with caregiver stress. These may include:

  • Senior receiving counsel from doctor
  • Depression
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Sleep deprivation and exhaustion
  • Accidents and injury
  • Weakened immune system
  • Catastrophic illness (stroke, heart disease)
  • Premature mortality 2

Independent mobility, in the form of a battery-powered, motorized wheelchair or scooter, is one option that may reduce caregiver stress and allow both partners to maintain optimal health.

Improved Mobility Can Increase Independence

A power chair can help a disabled spouse become more self-reliant. Once they regain control over their immediate environment, they are more able to perform mobility-related activities of daily living (MRADLs)3 on their own.

With an increase in spousal independence, the senior caregiver gets the opportunity to attend to his or her own physical, social and psychological needs.

Power wheelchairs help with independence

Caregiver Self-Care is Important, Too

If you are a senior caregiver, or know someone who is caring for a disabled spouse at home, an occasional break is vital for continued well-being and good health.

Support groups, visiting nurse services and similar resources may provide some useful assistance to family caregivers. Search the Internet, consult a healthcare professional, or contact your local/ state/area agency on aging for more information and referrals.

You might also reach out directly to these organizations below.

  • The Well Spouse Association, 800-838-0879
  • National Alliance for Care Giving, email- info@caregiver.org
  • Family Caregiver Alliance, 800-445-8106

If obtaining a power wheelchair for in-home mobility assistance seems like an ideal solution for your situation, please contact the mobility specialists at Hoveround. By simply calling 800-542-7236 or visiting Hoveround online, you'll receive the information you need to get the right kind of care you (and your spouse) deserve.

1Schulz, R., & Beach, S. (1999). Care Giving As a Risk Factor for Mortality: The Caregiver Health Effects Study.
Journal of the American Medical Association, 282, 2215-2219.
2Haley, W. E., Roth, D. L., Howard, G., & Stafford, M. M. (Feb. 2010).
Care Giving Strain Estimated Risk for Stroke and Coronary Heart Disease Among Spouse Caregivers . Stroke, 41, 331-336.
3MRADLs include navigating through the home, transferring, feeding, preparing meals, grooming, toileting and dressing.

This article is for informational and general educational purposes only. Hoveround does not guarantee the content or services of any third-party web site or resource included herein.

November 15, 2012