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Care for family caregivers

By: Holly Carpenter, BSN, RN, and Lois Gould, MS, PMP

Taking care of a loved one in today’s healthcare environment is a generous act of love. In the United States alone, it’s estimated that 65.7 million unpaid family caregivers provide care to someone who’s ill, disabled, or aged. Even with strong support systems, the caregiver may experience depression, social isolation, weight loss, irregular sleep patterns, lack of interest in activities that once brought joy, increased alcohol or drug use, or stress manifesting itself in physical ailments. Caregivers have similar challenges as nurses do—each group struggles to prioritize their own well-being while caring for others. Below is a sample of what nurses can share with caregivers of family or others.

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