The following guidelines were adapted from recommendations by the Alzheimer's Association, for ways of dealing with the stress of being the primary caregiver. I remember having one patient who was the primary caregiver for his wife with Alzheimer's was disappointed that his laboratory studies and head CT did not show something wrong...he was just tired, stress and depressed from being a caregiver.
These recommendations are equally applicable to anyone who is caregiving, be it with a child, an adult or an elder.
More than 80 percent of Alzheimer
caregivers report frequent experiences with high levels of stress and nearly
50 percent report suffering from depression.
Many caregivers do not recognize their own needs (or that they might have them!), fail to do anything about them or simply donít know where to turn for help.
Too much stress can be damaging to both to the caregivers and the person being cared for.
Recognizing the signs and learning how to reduce stress can help. Many of the signs and symptoms are those similar to depression.
Warning signs of caregiver stress
Caregiver who are experiencing several of these stress symptoms on a regular basis should consult with their physician. There may be respite, daycare, or home health options that have yet to be explored.
Additionally the following steps (and other suggestions for coping on this site) may help to manage the caregiver stress:
Ways to reduce caregiver stress