Thirty Percent of Caregivers Die Before The People They Care For Do

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Rough statistics show that 30% of caregivers die before those they are caring for. Some studies show deaths higher. Illness that doesn't lead to death is rampant, as well - depression and auto-immune diseases are high on the list. Caregivers often don't find time to go to their own doctor appointments. They put them off, because they are too busy, or are just plain sick of sitting in clinics with their loved ones. Then things like breast cancer, which could be caught at an early stage, aren't found until the illness is much worse or even life threatening.


Caregivers are as important as the people they care for. If they abuse their bodies, minds and spirits while caring for others, no one wins. Support for caregivers means we must tell our stories and know we are heard. I hope we'll hear many stories on this site.

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Barb, that is so sad when someone that young passes away. It will be interesting for you to see exactly what happens next in regard to their Mom. Too bad they didn't think about this a year ago :(

I am at that age where I read the obits in the newspaper, and I have seen too many times where a person in their 50's or 60's had passed, and the survivor includes an elderly parent who lives in the same city/town, and the siblings are elsewhere. Make me wonder if that grown child had been the caregiver.

I remember when my parents told me that I would be getting a nice inheritance. In turn I told them to use it for themselves as they would probably outlive me. They looked at me like my hair was on fire. They had zero clue about the stress I was under !!
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I went to a funeral today; a 49 year old man (who had some challenges with alcohol, etc.) who lived with him 90 y/o mom in her big suburban house. He worked part time as a plumber's helper.

His siblings constantly harped on the fact that he was "mooching off her".

He died of a heart attack last week. The other 5 siblings are now trying to figure out "what to do with mom".

I think they are going to find out in short order just how much money and grief their brother saved them.
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Oh freqflyer I am so worried that I will die before my 92 soon to be 93 year old Mother. Or die first because of esophagus cancer my husband has.
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Even though both of my parents had now passed, my Dad was almost a year ago, I find myself still ignoring my doctors appointments. Bad habit or I have gotten lazy. Maybe I just don't care anymore :P I am 70, and was caring for parents in their 90's who still lived in their house which had a lot of stairs, refused caregivers, and kept saying "we can manage"... until the phone rang at my house saying someone had once again fell. I was in panic mode each time that darn phone rang !!

While caring for my parents, not only did I ignore my own doctors/dentist, I also ignored that of my cats. They missed many a "senior wellness exam" because taking a cat into the vet takes nerves of steel, and my nerves had been unraveling over those 7 years of helping out my parents.

It is so hard to find ones "new normal" after being a caregiver. I don't know how people do it being hands-on living with a parent. I was totally exhausted being a logistical caregiver.

I also have seen articles saying the rate is now 40% for caregivers dying leaving behind the love one they were caring.
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I imagine that your friend sees the older couples so the statistics would definitely go through the roof. The overall rate seems to be close to 40% now but souces differ.
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I was informed by a friend who works with memory care patients at a nursing home that it is 73%
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Just an update from my March post. I have been through radiation treatments in March. I ha e now been tbrough 5 chemotherapy sessions, number 6 is next week. My CT scan 4 weeks ago show the tumor has shrunk almost 50% in thickness. Keeping my fingers crossed. I am still the only caregiver at home and now everyone thibks tbat all is fine as is because the tumor shrank. I have finally put my foot down and hopefully will have help soon. The province will pau for self managed care as long ad my spuse does not refuse. That is the battle. I am also still working full time. Wish me luck.
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I just had a friend die at 78 who had been caring for her husband for many years. The last thing I heard from her was "This is too much work for one person." Some times those of us who are care givers must set firm limits on what can do and be firm about the help we need from others. The family had plenty of money so could of afforded to pay for additional help. This was a premature death IMHO as woman was in apparent good health just overworked.
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I fully agree, I am a caregiver. I get up and go to a gym class Tues and Thurs early in the morning. It keeps me sane. Once a year I go with my granddaughters on a long weekend to a hotel in the mountains with a pool and hot tub. Next year I am going to Europe for a week. This man refuses to vacation with me over the years. Ill be dammed if I give up the rest of my life for a jerk who put everyone else before me.
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Prayers, Marialake. Please let us know if you have any success. We are on your side.
Carol
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