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Has Caring Got You Stressed? Why Caretakers Need a Little TLC, Too

Are you feeling burned out or overwhelmed by caring for a loved one? If so, it’s not all in your head. Caring for others affects the health and well-being of the people providing those services. And there is a term for it: caregiver stress.

By 2030, the population of people ages 65 and older is expected to more than double to 71 million people, according to a study published in Nursing Forum in 2016. This means the number of people who will require a caregiver at some point in their life is expected to rise, too. One commonly overlooked problem is that caregivers face significant, life-impacting stress. A study published in the Journals of Gerontology found that caregiver stress is common among those providing substantial care for
elderly family members in their 80s and 90s.

Signs of Caregiver Stress

It can be easy to neglect yourself when you get wrapped up with your caregiving duties. So how can you tell if you or a loved one are facing caregiver stress? Here are some key signs, as noted by the Mayo Clinic:

Risk Factors for Caregiver Stress

Some people are more likely to experience caregiver stress. Certain factors increase a person’s risk for caregiver stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, these include:

How to Manage Caregiver Stress

While caregiver stress can be a serious problem, there are things you can do to take better care of yourself and manage your symptoms:

Caregiver stress can be challenging, but with an action plan and some outside help, you can manage it. Remember: You can’t take care of your loved ones if you don’t take care of yourself first.

November 1, 2018

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