Caregiver Stressors can be a motivator or a demolisher.


Caregiver Stressors can be minimized“Caregiver Stressors” are continuous, without end, for the primary caregiver caring for a debilitated spouse or family member with a chronic (TBI) or progressive condition or disease ( Cancer, M.S. Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s Dementia, Parkinson Disease), Diabetes or COPD).

Identifying Signs or Red Flags:

1. Feelings of depression, ongoing fatigue, anger, frustration, guilt and loneliness.                                                                                                             2. Frequent illnesses due to a weakened immune system or slow to heal conditions.                                                                                                         3. Increased long term health issues i.e. heart disease or Cancer.

With research showing that 6 of 10 primary caregivers (usually a spouse) die before the person they are caring for, we know how serious caregiver stressors are.

Actions to decrease emotional and physical toll of caregiving:

1. Acknowledge the effects on you or the primary caregiver.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         2. Call a family meeting and assign tasks to members – i.e. research for solutions, sharing in chores/errands, regular contact for support, respite time.                                                                                     3. Explore help services: in-home assistance by hiring a caregiver; Day Care, Community services & Governmental benefits to help absorb costs.                                                                                               4. Getting individual counseling and/or joining a Support Group.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5. Recognize what you can and cannot change and accept that you are doing the best you can.                                                                                                                                                                                            6. Take care of yourself – say “no” when you can’t do what is being asked, keep your own medical appointments, ask for help and accept it when offered, make time for yourself.

Remember, you are the one holding everything together. If you collapse from too many caregiver stressors, the person you are caring for will need to have other caregivers or be moved into congregate living of some level. Your children will have two parents to care for.  No one can endure taking care of everything without a break and supportive help – indefinitely. Be kind to yourself early on as you are in a marathon. Help is out there. Speak with a Social Worker at a Home Care company or with your doctor or a Geriatric Care Manager.