Stress of family caregiving red flagged

Many people caring for a chronically ill family member say they’re very stressed, according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada. It’s calling for better access to mental health treatment as a top priority. Thursday’s interim report from the commission red flags the nearly 17 per cent of the 5.5 million Canadian caregivers aged 15 and over as a “substantial proportion” coping with very difficult levels of caregiver stress. “We need to support caregivers’ health,” Kimberley McEwan of the Centre for Applied Research and Mental Health, at Simon Fraser University, one of the authors of the report, said in an interview. “We know caregivers who are under a lot of stress will ultimately develop mental health and potentially physical health problems as well.” As the population ages, the number of people with dementia and other chronic illnesses will rise, boosting the need for family care, the authors said.


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