Signs of Caregiver Stress
- Anger: feeling angry at inappropriate times
- Anxiety: excessive worrying
- Denial: maintaining a belief that their loved one’s illness is not serious
- Depression: feeling hopeless about the situation
- Exhaustion: feeling fatigued
- Illness: experiencing health problems
- Irritability: getting upset over little things
- Poor concentration: having difficulty focusing
- Sleep problems: not getting enough sleep or too much sleeping
- Withdrawal: no longer involved in activities or seeing friends
Recognize What You Can and Cannot Change
To relieve the stress of daily caregiving it is important to recognize the things that can be changed and to accept the things that cannot.
- Educate Yourself: Learn everything you can about Alzheimer’s disease so you will know what to expect
- Accept the Inevitable: Live in the moment, and let go of unrealistic expectations
- Lower Expectations: Don’t expect a person with Alzheimer’s disease to learn new information
- Get Help: Join a support group, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your family and friends.
- Use Validation: When the person you are caring for seems out of touch with reality or fixations on false beliefs and confusion, don’t argue or scold.
- Create a Calming Environment: Establishing a simple, regular routine and following it daily.
- Complete Legal and Financial Planning: Making these decisions as soon as possible won’t add more stress later when the person with Alzheimer’s may need more attention or when a crisis situation occurs.
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