It is important that caregivers remember to monitor their own health and stress levels, and not just the health of the loved one they are caring for.
Stress can lead to serious health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and more. If you see one or more of these 10 signs of caregiver stress in yourself or in a caregiver you know, talk to them about it. It might be time to take a step back, or see a doctor.
- Denial – Refusing to acknowledge the disease and how it will affect the person who has been diagnosed
- Anger – Because the person with Alzheimer’s can’t do the things they used to be able to
- Social withdrawal – When a caregiver stops spending time with friends and family, or doing activities that they liked
- Anxiety – Feelings of nervousness about what the future will bring
- Depression – Feelings of sadness about the present and future
- Exhaustion – Overriding feelings of tiredness during waking hours
- Sleeplessness – When a caregiver is able to rest and cannot; often caused by a never-ending list of concerns
- Irritability – Low tolerance for annoyance caused by exhaustion
- Lack of concentration – Can make it difficult to perform daily tasks
- Health problems – The caregiver’s own health will start to decline as they ignore stress and their own needs
Seeing these signs in yourself or a caregiver you know? The Alzheimer’s Association has created a brochure for caregivers with tips for how to manage stress: http://www.alz.org/national/documents/brochure_caregiverstress.pdf.
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