Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

50+: Live Better, Longer

Font Size

Why Caregivers Need Care, Too

People who tend others often pay a hefty emotional and physical price.
WebMD Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Since Jeanne Erdmann's mother was diagnosed three years ago with dementia, she has taken on the daily responsibilities of bathing and dressing her mom, preparing her meals, making sure she takes her medicine, and managing her finances.

"It wears you down. I think it's the grind of having someone there every day who needs more and more attention," says Erdmann, a medical journalist in Wentzville, Mo. Although she says she's happy to be there for her mom, Erdmann acknowledges the toll caregiving takes.

Recommended Related to Healthy Seniors

Help a Loved One Eat Right

It may take a little work to figure out what's keeping your loved one from eating, but once you do, you can help. Two experts -- Mary Fennell Lyles, MD, and geriatrics dietitian Dixie Yow, RD, offer these tips to make sure your loved one is getting the nutrition they need.

Read the Help a Loved One Eat Right article > >

Caregiving Stress

Caring for a friend or family member who is chronically ill, disabled, or aging can be emotionally and physically demanding. More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for a person with Alzheimer's or dementia.

Those caregivers, who are predominantly middle-aged women, spend an average of 20 hours per week on caregiving responsibilities, a commitment that interferes with work and can lead to health problems. "The stress they are under is so tremendous, they tend to get sick," says Jo McCord, MA, family consultant with the nonprofit Family Caregiver Alliance. "Caregivers go to the doctor so often with the care receiver that they are simply too tired to go to the doctor for themselves."

Caregivers who reach out for help can tap into information and resources to make their jobs less stressful. Yet the challenges of caregiving are often compounded by caregivers' tendency to become isolated, McCord says. "There's a lot of need for emotional support that goes unmet."

Finding Emotional Support

Support groups and classes, either in person or online, give caregivers a forum where they can connect with others going through the same experience. They're also a great way to learn about legal, financial, and medical resources needed to best care for someone.

Although guilt comes with the caregiving territory, it's one emotion worth brushing aside. "Caregivers often feel they can't enjoy themselves because the person they're caring for is compromised," McCord says. But when caregivers fail to keep in touch with personal interests and friends, they lose connections they need more than ever.

Erdmann still tries to find ways to let off steam. "We laugh a lot. You have to find the humor and just hold on to the good times as long as you can."

Today on WebMD

Eating for a longer, healthier life.
woman biking
How to stay vital in your 50s and beyond.
womans finger tied with string
Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
man reviewing building plans
Do you know how to stay healthy as you age?
fast healthy snack ideas
how healthy is your mouth
dog on couch
doctor holding syringe
champagne toast
Two women wearing white leotards back to back
Man feeding woman
two senior women laughing