Living with dementia

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Caregiver stress checklist

How are you doing?

As Alzheimer's disease progresses, a person's abilities change. Eventually, full-time care will be needed. The person will require help with everyday activities, including bathing, dressing, eating and using the bathroom. Providing this daily support can be exhausting. When considering how best to meet the needs of the person with dementia, it is important to think about what's best for the person while also evaluating the impact that caregiving is having on your own well-being.

Experiencing some stress is part of everyday life. However, when symptoms of stress persist, they can be harmful. The following checklist from The Alzheimer Journey: At the Crossroads, may help you identify how stress is affecting your life. Place a checkmark to indicate how often you experience these symptoms of stress.

Caregiver Stress Checklist Never Sometimes Often
Loss of sleep
  • Are you experiencing difficulty getting to sleep?
  • Do you wake up in the middle of the night?
  • Do you have stressful dreams? 
     
Personal health
  • Have you gained/lost weight recently without intending to?
  • Do you get ill more often than you used to?
  • Have you developed chronic health problems (e.g., backache, headaches, high blood pressure)? 
     
Emotional health
  • Do minor upsets make you cry, angry or unusually irritated?
  • Are you having difficulty controlling your temper?
  • Do you feel pressure to hold things together?
  • Are you feeling hopeless about your current situation?
     
Loss of interests
  • Have you given up hobbies or interests that you once enjoyed?
  • Are you spending less time with others? 
     

If you answered "sometimes" or "often" to many of the questions above, you may need to seek help to care for yourself. Even with the help of support services, providing care to a person with Alzheimer's disease can be overwhelming. No matter how close you may be to the person, you may want to consider including others in the caregiving role.


Last Updated: 04/23/14
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