Many caregivers feel a sense of guilt when they take time for themselves instead of dedicating it to their sick or elderly loved ones. This guilt can lead to fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression. Caregivers of people with Alzheimer's often report experiencing high levels of stress. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or another type of dementia can be overwhelming, but too much stress can be detrimental to both of you.
Financial pressures can also add to the stress of caregiving. As medical bills and other treatments pile up, fees accumulate, and less energy is left to work, caregivers often face financial difficulties. Additionally, caregivers may feel isolated from others and have very little time alone. The need for solitude is very real for most people, and the stress of spending little time alone can be confusing for someone who also feels isolated, but both feelings can coexist with caregivers, causing their stress to multiply.
When responsibility and feelings of isolation become overwhelming, caregivers may feel exhausted and guilty. Feelings of frustration are understandable, but guilt is still common. To avoid caregiver exhaustion, it is important to take regular breaks and seek assistance from family members or temporary care providers.
Resources for Caregivers: Support for caregivers of adults, children, people with disabilities and mental disorders, veterans, and more is available through the Family Caregiver Alliance.
This non-profit organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life of family caregivers and those receiving their care. Additionally, friends, family members and temporary care providers can act as caregivers so you can spend time away from home. It is also important to find ways to relieve stress for caregivers and tips on how to manage stress in order to avoid caregiver burnout.