CAREGIVER STRESS

Nearly 66 million Americans care for aging, ill, or disabled loved ones.  And, 13 million caregivers are also caring for their own children.  What is “caregiver stress”?  It is a multidimensional response to the burden of taking care of a loved one for an extended period of time.  The quality of life is affected as the caregiver’s physical and psychological health is threatened whereby quality of life is harmed.

31% of family caregivers admit they’d like more help.  The Journal of American Medical Association reports that if you are a spousal caregiver between the ages of 66 and 96, and are experiencing ongoing mental or emotional strain as a result of your caregiving duties, there’s a 63% increased risk of dying over those people in the same age group who are not caring for a spouse.  A recent stress test conducted by the Home Instead Senior Care  network demonstrated that of the family caregivers who participated, 77% reported their aging loved one’s needs to be overwhelming, 90% said they have episodes of feeling anxious or irritable, 77% say caregiving is taking a toll on their family lives, and 56% seem to become ill more frequently.

So how do you know if caregiving is becoming too risky for you?  Examine this list and see how many apply to you:

  • Ignoring your own health problems or symptoms
  • Lack of healthy diet and/or exercise
  • Overusing tobacco and/or alcohol when you feel stressed
  • Losing sleep and/or connections with social support
  • Feeling down or hopeless, resentful or frustrated, isolated
  • Loss of energy or diminished interest in pleasurable activities

What do you do to manage your caregiver stress?  Take note of this list in order to make changes:

  • Work out and eat well
  • Meditate and/or pray to focus on self-appreciation
  • Ask for help and find support
  • Take a break and take care of yourself
  • Find resources to provide respite
  • Maintain a life outside of caregiving

resource:  www.caregiverstress.com

 

Contact Us

(970) 242-5707

E-mail

Behavioral Health & Wellness

Fairmont Health Park

PCP Building

3150 North12th Street
Grand Junction, CO 81506