Caregivers' health in 'downward spiral'

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By Janet Kornblum, USA TODAY
More than 2.5 million family caregivers isolated in homes across America suffer from depression, stress and rapidly declining health, often putting the needs of loved ones before their own.
And they often have nowhere to turn for help.

That’s according to a study to be released today that takes an in-depth look into the lives of caregivers who say their health is declining. The study by the non-profit National Alliance for Caregiving says caregivers often face a “downward spiral of health that worsens as a result of giving care.”

The study included an online survey of 528 caregivers from July 21 to July 28 and in-depth phone interviews and discussion groups.

Caregivers “are out there without anybody helping them,” says Gail Gibson Hunt, president of the National Alliance, which is hosting a conference Tuesday in Washington, D.C. It’s titled Caregiver Health as a Public Health Issue.

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