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HHS HealthBeat (June 15, 2012)

Supporting family caregivers

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Providing care for a loved one with a serious long-term disease can take a toll on the family caregiver. At the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center, NIH’s research hospital, nurse and scientist Margaret Bevans sees how it affects people.

In a journal article, Bevans described a wife providing care for a husband with cancer while she was caregiver for her mother and father. Bevans says family caregivers report feeling worried, fearful, sad and angry. She says they may need to reach out for help.

“Connect in advance with providers to bring the caregivers into the discussions very early, and have a support structure in place, understand where they can reach out, and encourage them to communicate.”

Bevans’ article was in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: June 14, 2012