There’s Help for Caregiver Stress
There is little doubt that the stress of chronic caregiving for a spouse or family member has significant effects on one’s health. Some signs of caregiver stress are:
- Feeling overwhelmed, lonely, guilty, sad or constantly worried
- Feeling fatigued most of the time
- Becoming easily irritated or angered
- Lack of interest in activities you previously enjoyed
- Significant change in weight or sleep habits
- Frequent headaches, neck or low back pain
- Abuse of alcohol or drugs
You can help reduce your stress as a caregiver:
- Identify what you can and cannot change. You may not be able to alter the way somebody else behaves but you can change how you react to it.
- Try to lighten your load by learning about local caregiving resources such as meal delivery, home healthcare services (nursing, physical therapy), non-medical assistance (housekeeping, cooking, companionship) or home-modification changes that make it easier for patients to bathe, use the toilet or move around.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for and to accept assistance from friends and family.
–Source: The American Institute of Stress