When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the disease truly effects the entire family. Alzheimer’s is a progressive and long disease, so caregivers frequently experience higher-than-usual stress levels. Stress hurts both you and your loved one. Below discusses signs of caregiver stress and stress-reducing tips.
- Social withdrawal. Signs of stress include withdrawing from hobbies and friends. Those experiencing caregiver stress may give up activities that made them happy. Social withdrawal can increase levels of stress because spending time with friends gives caregivers an outlet where they can focus on something other than the disease.
- Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be very tiring. Exhausted caregivers may feel overwhelmed from all their tasks and may find it difficult to cook, clean, budget, and complete other tasks.
- Anger is another common sign of stress for caregivers. The anger can be targeted at the family member, or at their own situation for not having the freedom that they used to.
- Caregivers may feel anxious about their own future and their loved one’s. They worry about finances, their loved one’s health, and time management. It is natural to worry, but anxiety can be crippling when unchecked.
- Depression is also commonly experienced by caregivers, especially those taking care of their own relatives. Depression can prompt caregivers to lose their motivation and feel hopeless about their situations.
- Caregiving can take a physical and mental toll and lead to caregivers’ own health problems. Working a full-time job, raising children, and taking care of an elderly love done are often time-consuming commitments that caregivers must balance.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to make time for yourself. Below are some events that can help reduce your stress.
- Get moving. Exercising almost every day is a great way to release stress. Give yourself at least thirty minutes each day, and you will see results.
- Find a support system. Talking with friends, families, and peers can help relieve your stress. Finding a network of other Alzheimer’s caregivers can also be a great source of support, as you can discuss tips and common experiences.
- Take breaks. Make time for yourself. If you feel overwhelmed, schedule breaks throughout the day and a few days off. Other family members should be willing to help, so find a secondary caregiver who can fill in while you are unavailable.
- Stay informed. Read caregiver blogs and informative websites about Alzheimer’s. By staying informed about the disease and caregiving tips, you can learn advice and information to make caregiving easier.