Americans are now living longer, with fewer early deaths from cancer and heart disease. The rise in survival rates turns more and more family members into caregivers… 42 million nationwide. The majority must cope with caregiver stress.

While a caregiver is not alone in their burden, she is often isolated from other caregivers and from normal levels of social engagement. But that’s only one major stress point in the pressure cooker of caring for elderly or disabled family members.

Stress Management Expert Elizabeth Scott, M.S. pinpoints 7 common causes of caregiver stress. Any combination of these can lead to depression, exhaustion, or lack of self-care.

 

Common Causes of Caregiver Stress

  1. Fear of Uncertainty – of what the future will bring your loved one and how you’ll cope with it.

  2. Shift in Roles – becoming like a parent to the ones who raised you

  3. Financial Pressure

  4. Isolation because you can’t “get out” to socialize, go to the gym, travel, or join a support group.

  5. Little Time Alone

  6. Demands of Constant Care

  7. Guilt over wanting to escape the burden or over feeling you can’t do enough.

 

Home Care in Lexington MA to Relieve Caregiver Stress

Agencies like MinuteWomen, Inc. of Lexington MA provide expert home care to ease the pressure cooker of caregiver stress in Boston’s metro-west communities. Like in this NBC News video, they know that “I take better care of everyone else than I do myself” is a common refrain… but if a family caregiver suffering from depression, anxiety, high blood pressure or an undiagnosed condition does not tend to herself,  s/he will not be able to fulfill their role as the giver of care.

Daily Pressures of Caring for Aging Parents (video)

Video_ Caught in the Middle

Video_ Caught in the Middle

If someone you know is caring for an elderly parent, or person with a chronic illness or Alzheimer’s, let them know there are resources available in the form of support groups, non-medical home care agencies, and respite care centers.  Every caregiver’s agenda needs to include coping with caregiver stress.

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