JAMA Reports Disturbing Results of New Study on Caregivers
Statement by Kathleen A. Kelly, Executive Director,
Family Caregiver Alliance:
SAN FRANCISCO, December 15, 1999 -- A new study on Caregiver Mortality in the December 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association presents frightening information on the impact of the stresses of long-term caregiving.
Results of the study, by Richard Schulz, Ph.D. and Scott R. Beach, Ph.D., showed that older spousal caregivers had mortality risks that were a shocking 63 percent higher than noncaregiving control subjects.
Family Caregiver Alliance's own studies have shown dramatic evidence of depression among caregivers, but this current research shows that the emotional, financial and physical stresses of caregiving can have a deadly impact.
These findings are particularly disturbing given that, as of last month, the National Family Caregiver Support Program was not funded, despite strong support from the White House. Although California is far ahead of many other states in developing caregiver assistance programs, the resources allocated are very limited. In some states, they are nonexistent. The NFCSP is a step towards providing more comprehensive services for the estimated 15 million family caregivers in the United States.
We urge policy makers and healthcare providers to take a close look at this study and its broad public health implications.
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