Doc’s Empathy Can Help Caregivers

Caregivers facing the difficult burden of caring for an aging or sick relative often let their own physical and mental well-being go. Having a doctor willing to take the time to listen can help a great deal.

A study showed 42 percent of caregivers with non-empathetic physicians reported signs of depression, compared to only 27 percent whose doctors offered a kind ear. The study also found caregivers caring for people with numerous physical needs showed symptoms of depression. These caregivers, researchers report, ended up taking out loans to cover health-care costs and often had to deal with patients considering physician-assisted suicide, an issue that can be emotionally draining.