“In sickness and in health” is a vow many of us take on our wedding day. It’s also a self-affirmation of what we’d go through when it comes to caring for those we love, even in their worst moments. Yet in a recent survey of Americans, only 1 in 5 (or 20 percent) responded that they would consider themselves to be a caregiver for someone in their lives.
Whether you’re helping to take care of a spouse, friend, or relative, you’re acting as someone who truly cares for the well-being of the person you’re tending to, and thus, you can proudly wear the title of caregiver. And as a caregiver — no matter how big or small your role is — you’re often acting unselfishly in your quest to make life for your partner, companion, or relative just a little more comfortable and convenient. Unfortunately, this labor of love often comes at a price for your own well-being.
More often than not, the caregiver neglects their feelings or physical pain for the sake of ensuring the one they love is cared for most in that moment. In a recent study called “Musculoskeletal discomfort, physical demand, and caregiving activities in informal caregivers” conducted by Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science, 94 percent of caregivers reported musculoskeletal pain as a result of their unselfish acts of care taking. Further, 58 percent of caregivers say their exercising habits have become worse since becoming a caregiver.
Voltaren is looking to shine the light on those family caregivers and help show them their true worth, especially those working tirelessly out of the limelight — and often in unpaid roles — through its Acts of Care initiative.
Recognizing Your Worth
Oftentimes the caregiver is acting in a role that they’re committed to do, without recognizing themselves as a caregiver. Most caregivers are acting simply because they see their role as something they “just” do for their partner or loved one.
Voltaren recently went on a mission to support caregivers from all walks of life. Through their “Acts of Care” program, they conducted an experiment to show caregivers their true worth. The hope is that by having a better understanding of their value, these caregivers will have a renewed sense of self, leading to a new journey toward their own physical health that may have taken a backseat to their loved one’s health.
The Role of Brain Mapping
Through heartfelt conversations, combined with cutting-edge neuro technology, Voltaren interviewed two such caregivers, Carol and Bill, along with the person they were providing care for.
Caretaker Carol from Detroit, MI was interviewed alongside her sister Tamsey, who was going through two breast cancer diagnoses, followed by fibromyalgia. Carol herself was dealing with osteoarthritis, adding to the physical toll spent caring for Tamsey. Caretaker Bill, also dealing with osteoarthritis, was aiding his wife Susan as she was dealing with cartilage dissipation in her hip.
Throughout the interview, both Carol and Bill wore an EEG headset, powered by EMOTIV, that measured their responses to various questions. Data was captured that reflected their mental and physical well-being throughout the question and answer period, and measurements were conducted based on brain wave changes in levels of stress, relaxation, excitement, engagement, and attention.
The goal was to help caregivers like Carol and Bill to better understand the value they bring to a loved one’s life so they can begin to prioritize their own health and well-being. Both Carol and Bill previously downplayed their involvement as an official caregiver by simply saying it was what they needed to do. However, through this experience, they both discovered their worth — as not only a loving sister and husband — but also their worth as a caregiver. In fact, the results of the Voltaren brain mapping module showed a 36 percent increase in wellbeing after hearing from their loved one.*
To help show those like Carol and Bill their worth, Voltaren is on a mission to support caregivers from all walks of life. The brand has created helpful tools and resources for caregivers to enjoy a renewed journey of physical health at: http://voltarengel.com/supporting-caregivers.
Rediscover the Joy of Movement
Whether you’re an official caregiver or going through some discomfort in your own life, Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel targets pain directly at the source to deliver clinically-proven nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine for powerful arthritis pain relief with a proven safety profile. For more information, visit www.VoltarenGel.com.
*EEG used to indicate a change in wellbeing and analysis of brainwaves powered by EMOTIV. Results are not statistically significant due to small sample.