As the economy remains shaky, health care costs continue skyrocketing and people live longer, more and more people are becoming caregivers, in-home care coordinators for their elderly parents or their dependent spouse. Some opt to do this because they want to. They want to do everything possible to keep their loved one out of a nursing home, where they feel an institutional environment would be adverse to emotional, even physical health. Other people assume the role of caregiver because they feel they have to, even though they would welcome other options. Why? Because assisted living care is simply unaffordable.
Of course, there is a physical toll to be confronted as well. Caregiving can mean giving up a career and income, creating more stress on top of the stress that already comes with day-in, day-out care responsibilities. Such stress can warp immune response, making caregivers more susceptible to illness.
Anything that can be done to support balanced, healthy immune function in caregivers can be of great benefit.