“Ann Brenoff didn’t worry when her dogs returned from a walk without her husband in 2015. He often dropped their leashes and let them race up the steep driveway to their home in the canyons of Los Angeles. “But after 20 or 30 minutes, we said ‘OK, where’s Dad?’” said Ms. Brenoff, 73, whose two children were then teenagers.
They found him lying at the bottom of the driveway. He had collapsed walking up the street and crawled home. Ms. Brenoff’s husband was soon diagnosed with acute kidney failure and needed round-the-clock care.
And she got really angry.
Around 53 million Americans are caregivers for a family member or friend with a health issue or disability, and nearly a third spend 20 or more hours a week in that role. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which calls caregivers the “backbone” of long-term home care in the United States, has warned that caregivers face many risks — anxiety and depression, chronic health conditions and financial strain, to name just a few. Yet experts said many caregivers feel they cannot speak openly about their frustration and anger.”