Caregiver Stress: Do You Have It?

Do you have “Caregiver Stress?” Parents become ill as they age. Sometimes, sadly, a spouse or a child needs long-term care around the clock due to illness or injury. In assessing yourself against these traits use the illness of Alzheimer’s disease as a measuring stick because it is representative of causing caregiver stress and in fact the Alzheimer’s Association was the provider of this brochure “Caregiver Stress Check.”

What character traits does a “Caregiver” have?

This is another topic where I have some personal experience.

A caregiver refuses to allow a family member to be “warehoused.” If they need care they will give it to them, no matter what the emotional, financial, or physical price.

The first problem a caregiver runs into is when they show a willingness to pitch in and help, the rest of the family is usually more than willing to let them take over, without getting involved with the care themselves. The more responsibility a caregiver will take, the more a family will dump on them but, the caregiver usually doesn’t care because in most cases they are selfless.

Does this describe you? Or do you already know you’re a caregiver?”

You may also like: Today is the Day to Lose Negative Attitudes

Caregiver Stress Check

You only need to answer one “yes” to be at risk for caregiver stress.

  • Do you feel you have to do it all yourself, and that you should be doing more?
  • Do you worry that the person you care for is safe?
  • Do you feel anxious about money and healthcare decisions”?
  • Here’s a “biggie:” Do you deny the impact of the disease and its effects?

If you think that you are at risk there are ways you can be helped.

You can become part of a support group; you can attend a workshop for caregivers and you can attend workshops with your whole family so that they can begin to aid you as well.

Something not in the brochure that is important is that the caregiver must maintain some type of social life whether it is with a spouse, friends or extended family. If a caregiver is isolated then their thinking becomes unrealistic and they can become despondent and angry. It is when a caregiver is angry or despondent that the chance for harm to the patient or to self is greatest.

Staying in touch with your level of stress isn’t something you do once and then forget. It is something you repeat.

Caregivers are too important to lose.

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