Caregiver Stress

Taking care of a loved one is very rewarding, but can also be stressful and take a toll on your health. As a caregiver it is normal to often feel angry, frustrated, exhausted, alone, or sad. It is common to experience the emotional and physical stress of caregiving. While it may feel good that you are able to take care of the person you love, you must be carful that you are not neglecting your own health in the process. Some people are at a higher risk than others for caregiver stress, these people include:

  • Females
  • Living with the person you care for
  • Social isolation
  • Having depression
  • Financial difficulties
  • High number of hours spent caring
  • Lack of choice in being a caregiver

There are also many signs that you are experiencing caregiver stress, including:

  • Feeling overwhelmed or worried
  • Feeling tired
  • Getting too much or not enough sleep
  • Gaining or losing weight
  • Becoming easily irritated or angry
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Feeling sad
  • Headaches or bodily pain
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs

While it is important to take care of your loved one, you need to make sure that you are still taking care of yourself. Your own health is just as important, if something happens to you how will you be able to care for the other person? Some ways to help manage this stress include accepting help, focusing on what you can provide, setting realistic goals, getting connected, joining a support group, seeking social support, or seeing your doctor.

While taking care of your loved ones, do not forget to also take care of yourself!