Caregivers of People Living with IBD Need Better Support, National Survey Finds

Caregivers of People Living with IBD Need Better Support, National Survey Finds
Results from a national survey highlight the heavy burden inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) places on patients’ family and friends, and the need for  new strategies to provide better support to IBD caregivers. The study, funded by a grant from the David R. Clare and Margaret C. Clare Foundation, was the result of a collaboration between the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, ImproveCareNow, and researchers from Crimson Research at New Mexico State University (NMSU). The survey gathered the opinions of more than 700 caregivers of IBD patients who were asked to share their experiences and the biggest challenges they face every day. On average, respondents said they had been caregivers for approximately eight years and spent about 20 hours every week caring for people living with IBD. Most of them (81%) also said they had a part-time or full-time job and that being caregivers affected their working hours (94%) and productivity (55%). Eight in every 10 said their tasks as caregivers ranged from assisting patients in communicating with their healthcare providers, to providing transportation, or helping them in grocery shopping. Six in every 10 caregivers also reported helping patients managing their routine medications, doing house chores, and helping manage their finances. Almost all respondents (92%) said they also had to prepare meals for patients, including specialty foods, which, according to them, was one of the most difficult ta
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