You are not alone, 44 million Americans care for a sick or elderly family member. Caregivers are often likely to die before the person they are caring for. It is important to build a network of support through family, friends, and seculare or religious support groups. It is helpful to have a plan in place if something were to happen to you, the primary caregiver. See Care Giver Emergency Guide.
10 Signs of Caregiver Stress
- Denial about the disease and its effect on the person who's been diagnosed.
- Anger at the person with the illness/disease and upset that people don't understand what they are going through.
- Social withdrawal from friends and loss of interest in activities that once brought pleasure.
- Anxiety about facing another day and what the future holds.
- Depression begins to break their spirit and affects their ability to cope.
- Exhaustion makes it nearly impossible to complete necessary daily tasks.
- Sleeplessness caused by a never-ending list of concerns.
- Irritability leads to moodiness and triggers negative responses and reactions.
- Lack of concentration makes it difficult to perform familiar tasks.
- Health problems begin to take their toll, both mentally and physically.
Courtesy of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association.
Support is available through local support groups as well as on-line. Most area Senior Centers offer respite services to give you time to rejuvinate. Hospice is sometimes an option to give you assistance. Also see Locate Assistance - Respite Services