Cancer caregivers report growing levels of stress through COVID-19 pandemic

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Caring for a loved one with cancer is always difficult, but as one can imagine, the pandemic has pushed many to the limit.

Dr. Margaret Longacre, chair of the department of public health at Arcadia University, said her team found that more than 72% of caregivers said that the most pressing problem now is emotional stress, but there's more.

"52% indicated that their level of physical strain was much higher or somewhat higher than pre-COVID-19 caregiving time," she detailed.

"Behind that though is also their indication of financial strain. So, 42% indicated that their level of financial stress was much higher or somewhat higher than pre-COVID-19 caregiving."

The information is helpful to determine where the resources are needed.

"Emotional support, financial support and in some cases help with physical strain as well," Longacre explained. "Organizations, health systems, hospitals, community organizations are really starting to work together to find solutions for these caregivers to help resource them."

She added the strain was higher on caregivers of color who said their greatest strain was financial. Longacre urged all caregivers to utilize all available resources such as The National Alliance for Caregiving.