Alzheimer’s caregivers frequently report experiencing high levels of stress. It can be overwhelming to take care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, but too much stress can be harmful to both of you.
1. Denial about the disease and its effect on the person who has been diagnosed. I know Mom is going to get better.
2. Anger at the person with Alzheimer’s or frustration that he or she can’t do the things they used to be able to do. He knows how to get dressed — he’s just being stubborn.
3. Social withdrawal from friends and activities that used to make you feel good. I don’t care about visiting with the neighbours anymore.
4. Anxiety about the future and facing another day. What happens when he needs more care than I can provide?
5. Depression that breaks your spirit and affects your ability to cope. I just don’t care anymore.
6. Exhaustion that makes it nearly impossible to complete necessary daily tasks. I’m too tired for this.
7. Sleeplessness caused by a never-ending list of concerns. What if she wanders out of the house or falls and hurts herself?
8. Irritability that leads to moodiness and triggers negative responses and actions. Leave me alone!
9. Lack of concentration that makes it difficult to perform familiar tasks. I was so busy, I forgot my appointment.
10. Health problems that begin to take a mental and physical toll. I can’t remember the last time I felt good.
If you experience any of these signs of stress on a regular basis, make time to talk to your doctor.
*Brenthurst Residence hosts a Dementia Care Support Group, which is open to all and meets at 15h00 on the first Wednesday of every month, in the Brenthurst Residence lounge.
Blog courtesy of the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Centre SA. www. alzheimers.org.za.