As a caregiver, you may at times feel overwhelmed by the emotional strains and physical demands of trying to balance caregiving with work and family. Knowing that your loved one has a degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s that won’t get better can contribute even more to your mental burden.
Neglecting yourself may in fact hurt the person you’re trying to help. Research suggests that the well-being of both the caregiver and the person being cared for are deeply intertwined.
If you can get help relieving your caregiving burden, you may be able to provide more quality care to a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, for example, which may lead to less troubling behaviors typical of someone with dementia. Helping your loved one improve his or her self-care may in turn help ease some of your physical and emotional stress.
Below are 10 signs and symptoms of caregiver stress:
- Denial about the disease and its impact on the person affected
- Anger toward the person you’re caring for
- Social withdrawal, not wanting to stay in touch with friends or participate in activities you once enjoyed
- Anxiety about facing another day and what the future holds
- Depression, feelings of sadness and hopelessness
- Exhaustion and feeling that you barely have the energy to complete daily tasks
- Sleeplessness, trouble falling asleep, waking repeatedly at night, having nightmares and stressful dreams
- Irritability or emotional overreactions, such as getting upset or crying over minor incidents
- Lack of concentration, trouble focusing and completing complex tasks
- Health problems, such as backaches, headaches, high blood pressure, weight loss or weight gain and getting sick more often (colds, flu)
Excerpt from John Hopkins Health Alerts – click here to learn more