By Dr. Brian McDonough

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When a couple decides to marry they take vows to try and make things work for better or worse.

We don’t think about it when we are young but as we get older the “worse” can occur at a moments notice as a result of accident or illness.

One of the most dramatic examples is when a person suffers a stroke. Strokes can leave survivors struggling to move, speak, or perform everyday activities. A new report in the journal Stroke says that caregivers, often the victim’s marriage or life partner, can suffer significant health issues while taking care of their loved one.

In the study husbands and wives of stroke survivors scored lower on tests of physical, mental, and overall health than control couples. The more impaired the survivor, the poorer the spouse’s mental and physical health. The message is clear. In order to provide great care you also need to be healthy yourself. Take time for yourself as well.