Although being a family caregiver can be one of the most important and rewarding jobs you will sign up for, it’s a very well-known fact that caring for an elderly person with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) can involve many added responsibilities that if not managed properly, could lead to caregiver’s stress.
One major concern when it comes to caregiver’s stress is that it could lead to mental, physical and emotional health problems over a period of time. This is the reason there is so much emphasis on learning proper self-care while delegating tasks and chores that may become too much for one person to manage.
Below is a self-evaluation tool that you can use to identify whether you are adversely affected by caregiver’s stress.
Answer Agree or Disagree to each of the following statements:
I feel that I have complete responsibility on my shoulders and feel alone in caring for my loved one
I have a great deal of anxiety when it comes to dealing with financial issues
I feel a complete lack of control over my loved one’s disease
I don’t feel that I have any help or support from my family members when it comes to taking care of my loved one with AD
I am frustrated when it comes to trying to communicate with my loved one with AD
I feel I am the only person in the family who can effectively care for my loved one with AD
I get frustrated when my loved one with AD repetitively asks the same question over and over
I have a great deal of fear and/or anxiety when it comes to my loved one’s emotional outbursts
I feel I am not doing as much as I should for my loved one with AD
I feel that the care I am giving my loved one with AD is not the high quality of care that he/she deserves
I am resentful because I feel that my loved one with AD doesn’t appreciate all I do for him/her
I am resentful toward my friends and/or family members for not helping me enough in the care of my loved one with AD
I suffer from a chronic illness such as depression, high blood pressure, cancer or heart disease
The more statements above that you agree with, chances are the higher your level of caregiver’s stress. Be sure to see your physician regularly for a thorough physical exam to ensure your physical health and ask for help from friends, family members, and/or outside sources of support such as a home care agency and/or respite care service such as an adult day center. Carving out time for yourself each week is vital to being able to effectively care for your loved one with AD on a long term basis.
Learn more about Alzheimer’s disease in our 25 topic online course at AlzU.org by CLICKING HERE.