1. Health
Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

Family Health Problems: A Significant Source of Stress

By January 28, 2012

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According to a survey from the American Psychological Association, over half of Americans are experiencing stress due to health problems of family members--53%, which is up 6 percentage points from the numbers of the past two years.

While sad, this statistic is not surprising. The rising number of older adults in America has meant that many middle-aged Americans (particularly women) are finding themselves taking care of their parents, many of whom are experiencing health issues. This comes on top of the regular health issues that can impact every member of a young family. All of these issues can contribute heavily to caregiver stress, which is a particularly taxing form of chronic stress for those who experience it. On top of the worry and concern for a family member's health and comfort, as well as the uncertainty of what the future may hold, caring for an ill family member can mean a hectic schedule and not enough down-time. All of these things can bring stress.

While there is often little one can do to influence the health of a parent, and many health issues may not be prevented in ways that we know of, there are still many things we can do to impact our own health and the health of our family and friends, and increase our own longevity, wellness, and quality of life. Additionally, because stress and health are connected, learning effective stress management techniques can contribute to overall wellness and help relieve the stress of a family member's illness at the same time.

The following resources can help with creating a healthy lifestyle and building stress management into your routine. Feel free to share your own suggestions in the comments section.

Additional Resources For Stress Management:

  • Relieve Caregiver Stress
  • Stay Healthier With Positive Peer Pressure
  • Stay Healthy With Your Family
  • Get Healthier With Healthy Monday
  • Ongoing Stress Management Resources
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