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Experts: Senior care can be stressful, online program helps


POSTED: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 9:19am

UPDATED: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 5:10pm

Caring for an elderly family member can be a full-time job. Molly Nelson has been taking care of her mother for 17 years.

Nelson says, "At age 80 she got breast cancer and then 8 years later she developed angiosarcoma which is a skin cancer.”

Nelson says, while her mother was sick it was stressful at times. "You're trying to stay up for that person, stay up as a mom for your children as a husband as a wife."

Becky Edwards has been a professional caregiver her whole life, but she says when it's your own family it's a lot harder.

Edwards says, "When it comes to your mom and dad it's personal and it's so much different."

Studies show that care giving is a leading cause of stress for families, experts say, it can lead emotional and physical health problems.

Allison McKinny owner of Home Instead Senior Care serving Smith and Wood Counties says, "Stress can cause a multitude of symptoms there's heart disease there's diabetes, from lack of nutrition for yourself.

Mckinny says sometimes caregivers can overlook their own stress, and to help identify these stressors, 'home instead' senior care has launched an online program to help.

She says, "You can go on here and enter a word such as what's stressing you?, and it can give you tips to help relive those stressors."

Local support groups such as the Alzheimer alliance of Smith County are also available to help.

If you're taking care of a loved one, caregivers says, it's also important to take care of yourself.

Edwards says, "Sometimes taking that 30 minutes that hour away is huge."

Nelson says, "Everybody needs that little bit of space that little bit of fueling tank time"

Allison says, never be afraid to ask for help if you need it, because it can impact the way you care for your loved ones.

For more information on the Online Caregiver stress relief program visit:

You can take a caregiver quiz to determine your caregiver role, and you can also take a caregiver assessment to determine just how stressed out you are.

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