ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
CANCER
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
Recession Scrambling Health Spending in U.S.
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
Depression, PTSD Common Among Lung Transplant Patient Caregivers
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
Vitamin B12 Key to Aging Brain
Low Vitamin A, C Intake Tied to Asthma Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Old-Growth Forests Dying Off in U.S. West
Radiation Exposure Linked to Aggressive Thyroid Cancers
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
FITNESS
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Hidden Salt in Diet Haunts Many With Heart Failure
Eat Light - Live Longer
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Any Old Cane Won't Do
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Add your Article

When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient

THURSDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The stress of providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer's results in 25 percent of family caregivers having at least one emergency room or hospital visit every six months, says an Indiana University study.

It's long been recognized that family care of an Alzheimer's patient is difficult, but the Indiana University researchers said their study is the first to actually measure the stress and examine how it affects the physical and mental health of caregivers.

The study included 153 Alzheimer's patients and their family caregivers, for a total of 366 people. Forty-four percent of the caregivers were spouses, and 70 percent lived with their Alzheimer's-afflicted loved one. The average age of the caregivers was 61 years.

Age, education and relationship to the patient didn't affect caregivers' use of emergency room/hospital services, the researchers found. The behavior and functioning of the patient, not their cognitive disability, were the major factors that determined whether a caregiver went to the emergency room/hospital.

The study was published in the November issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

"Our findings opened our minds to the fact that society needs to expand the definition of patient to include both the person with Alzheimer's dementia and that individual's family caregiver," study corresponding author Dr. Malaz Boustani, an assistant professor of medicine, said in an Indiana University new release.

"For American society to respond to the growing epidemic of Alzheimer's disease, the health care system needs to re-think the definition of patient. These findings alert health-care delivery planners that they need to restructure the health care system to accommodate our new inclusive definition of patient," said Boustani, who directs the Healthy Aging Brain Center.

About four million older adults in the United States have Alzheimer's disease, and three million of them live in the community, often under the care of family members. By 2050, it's estimated there will be 18.5 million people with Alzheimer's in the U.S.

"While we've long known that Alzheimer's is a devastating disease to the patient, this study offers a look at how it also impacts the caregiver's health. If we don't offer help and support to the caregiver too, the stress of caring for someone with dementia can be overwhelming, both mentally and physically," Dr. Cathy C. Schubert, an assistant professor of clinical medicine in the IU School of Medicine, said in the news release.

More information

The Alzheimer's Association has more about caregiver's stress.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Indiana University, news release, Nov. 10, 2008

Last Updated: Nov. 20, 2008

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