Caregivers are often exhausted or even injured by repeated, strenuous tasks such as lifting a disabled person into bed. The time burdens of caregiving also can become physically draining. The typical care- giver spends 24 hours per week on caregiving, has been doing so for around four years, and holds at least a part-time job as well. Moreover, many people are simultaneously responsible for more than one relative such as a child with a disability and a parent with Alzheimer’s disease. It is no surprise that the more time caregivers spend in providing care, the greater the toll on their health.
Taken together, the financial and physical burdens of caregiving often leave individuals with little time, energy, or money for social relationships. Caregivers often report that their relationships with both family and friends have suffered be- cause of their responsibilities. For example, a mother who spends hours each day caring for an ill child might regret that she has so little time for her other children, and those children might resent the attention given to their ill sibling. Problems are particularly acute when the person receiving care is mentally ill and throws family routines into chaos, embarrasses other family members, or physically threatens their safety.
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