Sick Spouse Bad For Your Health

Stephen Tweed | February 16, 2006 | Newsroom
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that the debilitating illness or injury of a husband or wife can hasten the death of their spouse."You can die of a broken heart not just when a partner dies, but when your partner falls ill," said chief researcher Dr. Nicholas Christakis at Harvard…

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that the debilitating illness or injury of a husband or wife can hasten the death of their spouse.

“You can die of a broken heart not just when a partner dies, but when your partner falls ill,” said chief researcher Dr. Nicholas Christakis at Harvard Medical School.

The study at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania was published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine. The research, backed by the National Institutes of Health, analyzed Medicare records from a representative national sample of 518,240 elderly couples over nine years.

Men were 4.5 percent more likely than usual to die on any given day after their wives were hospitalized; women with sick husbands were almost 3 percent more likely to die.
If the sick spouse dies, the partner’s risk of death – whether from accidents, suicide, infections or pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes – shoots up fivefold, rising by 21 percent for men and 17 percent for women, the researchers said.

For the full story: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/354/7/719

Why is this imortant to us? It leads to a better understanding of the value of non-medical home care to the surviving spouse. This research suggests to me that we can help not only the sick or injured person but their spouse as well when we provide home care services.

What do you think? Does home care for a sick or injured person also have tangible, observable benefits to their caregiver spouse? How can we quantify that? How can we use that as benefit in communicating the advantages of our services?

Let us hear from you. Add your comments below.

Stephen Tweed
Stephen Tweed, CSP, began his journey as a business strategist in home health care in 1982. Today, Stephen is among the top thought leaders in Home Care strategy and management. He has worked with top 5% companies from across the US. He is a sought after speaker at from national and state association events.

Related Posts

Extraordinary Transformation: A blueprint for leaders who want to Transform their Organization

June 5, 2024
By Stephen Tweed As a leader in Home Care, are you working on transforming your organization? Are you looking for strategies and insights to grow your business and get ready for the future? I've just finished reading an amazing book by my friend and professional speaking colleague, Dr. Nido Qubein. "Extraordinary Transformation: An Entrepreneurial Blueprint…

Stephen Tweed’s Podcast and Webinar Appearances

May 30, 2024
As a significant Thought Leader in the Home Care industry, Stephen Tweed is frequently invited to be a guest on industry podcasts and webinars. Here are links to some of Stephen's recent appearances. June 2024 - Lead Up Podcast with Mike Harbour - "Legacy Leadership" Stephen Tweed was interviewed by Mike Harbour for the Podcast,…

The Forces and Trends Shaping the Future of Home Care.

May 14, 2024
By Stephen Tweed What will the Home Care Industry look like in five years? Over the past two decades I've been actively engaged in the Home Care Industry, and monitoring the Forces and Trends that are shaping the future of our industry. While much of the growth of Home Care is driven my the entrepreneurial…