Caregiver Stress: The Impact of Chronic Disease on the Family
- Changes in ability to work
- Changes in personal and professional relationships
- Physical changes and side effects
- Management of symptoms and medicines
- Financial demands of healthcare needs
- Extra demands on time and energy
- Changes in family roles and responsibilities
- Changes in time work and time to perform professional responsibilities
- Pressure of trying to keep up with the caregiving and still having a life outside the home
Steps to Care for Yourself
- Take breaks.—Schedule quiet time, visit with friends who can offer positive reinforcement, or take regular days off from routine. Home health agencies may offer “respite care” or adult day care programs that can give you a break.
- Take care.—Eat balanced meals, get an adequate amount of sleep, and check with a doctor about any continuing problems.
- Understand your limits.—Find local resources that can offer physical, emotional, and psychological support to you as a caregiver. Realize that you cannot do everything for everyone. Find out if your state offers helpful programs.
- Getting help.—Relieve feelings of isolation, anger, and frustration by seeking out the help of counselors or support group.
- Ask about palliative care.—These professionals are specially trained to help treat patients who are nearing the end of there life. This can be a very difficult time for all involved in a persons care. They not only treat the person dying of the illness, but they also can provide support for family members and help you find resources in your community.
Children of Aging Parents http://www.caps4caregivers.org/
Family Caregiver Alliance http://www.caregiver.org/
Alzheimer Society of Canada http://www.alzheimer.ca/
Canadian Caregiver Coalition http://www.ccc-ccan.ca/
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Take care of you yourself. Alzheimer's Association website. Available at: http://www.alz.org/national/documents/brochure%5Fcaregiverstress.pdf. Accessed June 12, 2012.
What is a caregiver? National Center on Elder Abuse website. Available at: http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/NCEAroot/Main%5FSite/pdf/family/fact%5Fsheet.pdf . Accessed June 12, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 06/2012 -
- Update Date: 06/12/2012 -