Welcome to the first edition of a three-part blog mini-series that will cover the subject of “Caregiver Stress”. We looked back on the calendar year 2022 to date and discovered that issues related to caregiver stress was a regular and recurring subject that those self-managing assisted living services at home and also memory care services at home.
Here are the three different topics that we will cover over the next three posts:
- What is Caregiver Stress
- What are the Causes of Caregiver Stress
- What can you do to manage Caregiver Stress
If you are new here to our The Birches at Villa Rica Assisted Living and Memory Care Blog, you’ll soon discover our blog to be a fantastic free resource on ways to learn about assisted living care and memory care and help you both provide your loved one with quality care while helping maximize your quality of life along your loving journey.
What Exactly is Caregiver Stress?
Caregiver stress is the physical and emotional strain that results from providing continuous care for another person. When this stress is prolonged, it can cause serious physical and mental health problems for those providing the care.
Caregiver stress may be the precursor to the more severe caregiver burnout, though many of the symptoms overlap.
Symptoms of Caregiver Stress
As a family caregiver, it’s important to keep an eye out for any negative physical or emotional symptoms you experience, as these can lead to long-term damage. Physical signs that you might be experiencing caregiver stress include:
- Frequent headaches or body aches
- Always feeling tired
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Rapid weight gain or weight loss
- Abusing alcohol, recreational drugs, or prescription medications
Emotional signs of caregiver stress include:
- Moodiness – easily angered or irritated
- Persistent sadness or hopelessness
- Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Feelings of loneliness or isolation from other people
It’s known that the long-term effects of stress can be detrimental to health. Long-term symptoms can include:
- Serious mental health issues such as anxiety and depression
- Weakened immune system
- Digestive issues
- Alcoholism or drug addiction
- Increased risk for chronic diseases
- Short-term memory loss and issues paying attention
If you or a loved one are exhibiting signs of caregiver stress, it’s important that you first talk to your doctor about ways to ease your symptoms. There are medications, holistic remedies, therapies and more that are designed to help.
Next up, we’ll discuss the causes of caregiver stress. Until then, our very warm best wishes from all of us here at The Birches Assisted Living & Memory Care!