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Coping with Dementia Care Burnout

Caregivertuva-mathilde-loland-mK_sjD0FrXw-unsplashPhoto credit Tuva Mathilde Loland

You watch your once mentally sharp loved one decline before your eyes. Their uncontrollable behaviors, mood swings, outbursts, confusion, and memory loss are heartbreaking. The worry that a single lapse in supervision may result in your loved one wandering off, falling down or having some other accident is overwhelming. Caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or another type of dementia involves significant physical, mental, emotional, and financial investments. Family caregivers often struggle to balance dementia care while working, nurturing relationships with their immediate family and friends, prioritizing self-care, and coping with feelings of anticipatory grief. For a dementia caregiver, stress levels can soar very quickly. Without strong support systems in place, Alzheimer’s caregiver burnout can set in, jeopardizing the physical and mental health of caregivers and dementia patients alike. 

Alzheimer’s Caregivers’ Stress Levels: Most family caregivers experience an increased amount of stress. However, multiple studies have confirmed that dementia caregivers endure higher levels of caregiver burden than non-dementia caregivers. A fact sheet jointly published by the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement reports that nearly 60 percent of dementia caregivers rate their emotional stress levels as high or very high

.... How to Beat Alzheimer’s Caregiver Burnout: A uniquely challenging aspect of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver is the fact that a dementia patient’s needs and behaviors can change dramatically without warning. Dementia

Continue reading on Agingcare for more on the serious risk of dementia care burnout:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol  

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