72: The percent of caregivers reporting mental stress and physical health declines. In our initial study on caregiver health we found that 91% of those caring for a senior family member with a condition like dementia, Alzheimer’s or cancer report mental stress, 75% report depression, 27% say they have gained weight, 19% say they have lost it, and 25% say they have been to the hospital or urgent care at least once for their own health event. 72% say their overall physical and mental health has declined since becoming more responsible for their mom or dad or relative, partly impacted by things like reduced wages, having to change jobs or lose their position at work. There are some positives, says Brigid Byrne, who cares for her 90-year-old mother who has cancer and her grandson, a toddler. ‘Lots of stress and worries, yes, but lots of laughter,’ Byrne says, noting that while there is essentially no support from health providers or insurers there are local and national networks online to support caregivers, like the Caregiver Action Network. Insurers like Humana, Anthem, and United who continue to see an increase in there Medicare Advantage enrollment will likely to need to think about how their networks and benefits can help address this growing issue.
Take our initial poll on this topic here: http://app.surveymethods.com/EndUser.aspx?C5E18D95CD829493CE