What is a caregiver?
A caregiver provides the physical and/or emotional care to a chronically ill or disabled elderly parent, spouse, special needs adult, or child. The person in need of care could be suffering from a physical or mental illness, disability, or other chronic conditions such as cancer, stroke, multiple sclerosis, dementia, diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease.
It is normal to feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of being a caregiver. That is why it is important to recognize when the caregiver needs help. If you are a caregiver it is essential to know how and when to ask for and accept help and support from others.
TOP TEN SIGNS OF CAREGIVER STRESS
- Denial about the disease and its effects on the person who has been diagnosed. “I know that my Dad will get better.”
- Anger at the person with memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease or other persons because no effective treatments or cures exist. “I can’t stand to keep answering the same question over and over again.”
- Social Withdrawal from family members and friends because of the lack of time. “It takes too much effort to get together with my friends anymore.”
- Anxiety about what the day will bring and what the future will hold. “What happens when I can’t do this anymore?”
- Depression starts to affect the ability to cope. Restlessness, feelings of loss and sadness set in. “I don’t care what happens anymore.”
- Exhaustion makes it almost impossible to face the many tasks of the day. “I am too tired for this.”
- Sleeplessness caused by an unending list of worries. “What if he leaves the stove on? What if he wanders?”
- Irritability leads to moodiness and feelings of resentment towards others. “I can’t take it anymore. Leave me alone!”
- Lack of concentration makes it difficult to perform familiar tasks. “I forgot we had that appointment.”
- Heath Problems develop because of missed or delayed doctor appointments and ignoring your own health problems or symptoms. “I don’t have time to take care of myself.”
The Elder Law attorneys at Martha C. Brown & Associates, LLC have the experience and the expertise to help explore these issues and others with you, and to help ensure that you and your loved ones are protected.
Contact this St. Louis Probate attorney for advice on dealing with the long term care of a loved one.