Caregiver Stress and Stress Quiz
Research indicates that caregivers are more likely to have stress-related physical problems than others in their age group. Be aware that chronic muscle tension, insomnia, indigestion, trembling, teeth grinding, jaw clenching, sweaty hands, changes in appetite, dizziness, stomachache, headache and back pain are signs of stress. These are warning signs of depression, exhaustion and other illnesses, and they won't go away by themselves.
By developing some coping strategies, you may be able to avoid reaching the point of exhaustion and burnout. Burnout has occurred if you become numb to your loved one's needs and feelings and you just don't care. Don't let it go that far; it may be difficult or impossible to recover.
Remember that even though you may feel like you are alone, you are not. There are a variety of resources that can assist you during this emotionally stressful time. With 18 to 25 million informal caregivers in the United States there is a growing supply of books, organizations, web pages, and support groups that offer information to help you with the tremendous task of providing care for a loved one.
Your Care Manager can assist you by:
Assessing your level of stress;
Instructing you in stress management techniques;
Providing information on caregiver support groups
in your area; and
Offer emotional support and counseling.
Take our Caregiver Stress Quiz to gauge how you are holding up.