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Caregiver StressMeter: Medium Stress Result

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Based on your answers to the stress assessment tool questions, it appears that your caregiving role is likely causing you some stress that may be affecting you physically and emotionally.

That feeling of stress is understandable and could be the result of any one or a combination of the following situations:

  • Your aging loved one requires an increased amount of assistance
  • You don't have a great support network around you (family, friends) to help out
  • You live some distance from the senior you are responsible for caring for, making it difficult and expensive to meet their needs
  • Your busy schedule with work and your own immediate family has you spread very thin
  • The deteriorating health of the person you are caring for is beyond what you can handle on your own

It is important to take care of yourself in a caregiving situation, since your loved one is depending on you.

As a preventive step against further decline in your own health and spirits, you may find non-medical senior care very helpful for your situation. The non-medical, professional caregiver will help with daily tasks of everyday living, from meal preparation, light house keeping and medication reminders, to incidental transportation to and from doctor appointments (not to mention some much needed respite for you as the caregiver).

If your caregiving involves assisting somebody with dementia or early-stage Alzheimer's, it may be time to explore services from private and public agencies, as well as informal support from other family members and friends. Keep in mind that as difficult as it is, you are not alone in this situation and help is available.

The following links may prove helpful to you and your family:

Last revised: August 12, 2011

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. November 6, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Posted by John Witmer

    Generally, I can keep my cool, but one thing gets to me. There are times when my wife asks the same series of questions, over and over. Once it was about 50 times in a 1/2 hour. I got a "little short" with her on that occasion even though I know that makes things worse. I'm very deaf, so the local Alzheimers support group is of no value to me. (They all whisper. ) Respite care is really of no value because my wife objects so stongly to it. After 2 years, she still wants me to fire the woman who comes in three times a week for about 15 minutes to help her bathe.

    Reply

  2. October 5, 2015 at 12:23 am | Posted by Dave duncan

    Thank for sharing and caring

    Reply

  3. October 5, 2015 at 12:21 am | Posted by Dave duncan

    Thanks for sharing info and caring iNformation is king understanding it is critical

    Reply

  4. January 24, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Posted by EVETTE GOODRIDGE

    WHEN NO ONE CALLS ME TO CHECK UP ON ME I GET UPSET AND DEPRESSED ABOUT IT,

    Reply

    • November 7, 2015 at 3:31 am | Posted by Rachel

      I hope that someone is calling to check up on you more often..

      Reply

    • February 7, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Posted by Carla

      I'm in that boat too, and it just adds "insult to injury". My husband is the youngest of 6 kids and we are the caregivers for his 84 year old mom who has dementia and diabetes. We bought a home we could move her into with us last year. She doesn't require 24/7 care as she can still do many things herself. But it seems to become more & more work everyday as we discover things she can't do/shouldn't do herself, etc. We get occasional help from a few of my husbands siblings. But one of them lives less than a mile away and does so little (from my perspective). A phone call or card once in a while to just acknowledge what we do and say "thanks" would go a long way!!

      Reply

  5. December 31, 2014 at 11:33 pm | Posted by Wayne King

    I agree that the test should be designed for people who are looking after spouses as well. 24/7 never had a greater meaning than now.Every case differs. I've known 24/7 in the navy - but that was fun compared to this type of paradise.

    Reply

  6. December 31, 2014 at 11:20 pm | Posted by Wayne King

    Welcome my brother - I know what you are going through - as it compares so much to my stress.there ain't a lotta help out there.Personally I try to get my wife to reflect on the REALLY GOOD TIMES WE HAD TOGETHER FOR YEARS.I often go through photos of our many trips across Canada, nwestern US, Mexico and cruises. Damn near broke now but we still remember the good times.Try sitting with wonderful thoughts of the past, they often take the edge off the present.Best wishes for a Happy New YearWayne

    Reply

  7. December 31, 2014 at 9:52 pm | Posted by Wayne King

    I am assisting my wife so some questions are very grey. I respond to her too quickly, often with less feeling that I should have. I love her and spend almost all of my time working with her. I need to learn more about handling my emotions so I do not upset her as often as I do. We are both retired and living in a small retirement community. How often can I take this survey? Wayne

    Reply

  8. August 28, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Posted by ramona smith

    my caregiving is for my daughter even with the stress i would not trade it for the word

    Reply

  9. July 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Posted by JM

    I found the survey did not take into full account my situation as I'm sure others will attest to caregiving is not cut and dried, yes and no, or black and white. Each day and each situation provides its own set of answers and situations and rewards.

    Reply

    • November 6, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Posted by A. Payne

      This is true but I would add:"hour by hour". A friend found abook for me called The 36 Hour Day. It has been helpful.

      Reply

  10. April 14, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Posted by Kathy

    This seems to be the only place to comment on the stressmeter test. I have to say that I found myself unable to answer some of the questions properly because the questions seem to assume that there other family members involved in the persons care and who need to simply step up to the plate. In my case there are no other relatives family or friends in any position to share in the caring. for my brother. I live about 1 1/2 hrs away and must travel weekly to visit. He is a hoarder and is very anxious, passive, fearful of others and unable to make decisions. I spent a year trying to stave off eviction. He now has a cleaning lady weekly, but I still come weekly to shop, take him to his many appointments, etc. He does not want anyone else coming to his apartment like a home health aid or even a volunteer from church. He is afraid of anyone else but me. And there are no other relatives to step up. I am his only sibling. And he drives me crazy.

    Reply

  11. August 15, 2012 at 4:59 am | Posted by Georgia Harbeck

    My husband and I are retired. He started falling last summer, he started losing weight about the same time. We talked to his doctor - but the doc pretty much blew us off with - its age. These things happen. He has atrial fibrillation and was on blood thinners.... In October he had a really nasty fall. (head gashed on garage door) and after several (15) hours in the ER, two CT scans to make sure there was no brain bleed we were sent home. The darn head wound would not heal, and we had to return to the ER three more times in the next two weeks. In December the doc told us of the brain changes the CT scans showed. Alzheimer's was the diagnosis. It's been eight months, and thus far he has lost 65 pounds. He has other health issues - and every day I am uncertain how to proceed . Pain meds make the Alzheimer's worse, but no pain meds keep him in a chair. We are about to lose our home, and I just wonder what else can go wrong....but not for long. His care is my life, and I fear I'm not doing the job he deserves.

    Reply

    • December 22, 2012 at 11:04 am | Posted by J Hess

      You are there for him so you ARE doing what he needs and deserves. So sorry for all that you are dealing with. Being a caregiver can be so overwhelming but it is the epitome of true love.

      Reply

  12. June 6, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Posted by john davis

    i am my wifes only caergiver our relationship is good but i have overwhhelming stress daily she cannot do anything because ofher health i get exhausted and irritated easily we have applied for assistance from state home health caer but nearly a year has gone by and no results we have medicaer but no medicaid i am getting wores as time goes by i love my wife but all these different things daily aer a lot of stress i need some asistance thank you for listening

    Reply

  13. January 3, 2012 at 12:21 am | Posted by leonard marcus

    I HAVE BEN THE 24/7 CAREGIVER FOR MY WIFE WHO WAS DIAGNOSED WITH PD APPRO. 8 YEARS AGO. IN 2006 SHE HAD A BAD FALL WHILE WALKING ON HER REGULAR 2 MILE WALK EVERY MORNING. SHE TRIPPED ON A WIRE THAT EXTENDED OUT FROM A LAWN ON TO THE SIDEWALK. THE RESULT WAS CRUSHING THE HUMOROUS UPPER LEFT ARM WHICH REQUIRED A TITANIUM REPLACEMENT. FROM THAT TIME ON I HAVE BEEN HER CAREGIVER.THIS ACCIDENT SET HER BACK BECAUSE OF HER PARKINSON'S. UP TO THAT TIME, SHE WAS CAPABLE OF DOING ALL OF THE THINGS THAT SHE DID BEFORE PARKINSON'S.SINCE 2006 SHE HAS GONE THROUGH MANY STAGES OF THE PD SYMPTOMS. NOW AFTER EXTENSIVE PHYSICAL THERAPY SHE HAS MANAGED TO REGAIN SOME STABILITY AND CAN WALK SLOWLY WITH A WALKER. HOWEVER, I HAVE TAKEN ON THE ROLL OF A FULL TIME CAREGIVER. COOK, HOUSE MAID, HOME CLEANER, WASHING, SHOPPING, LAUNDRY .ETC.....I HAVE REQUIRED COUNSELING ALONG THE WAY BY SOCIAL WORKERS AND PSYCHIATRISTS..IT HAS HELPED ME A LOT.I AM TAKING PAXIL TO HELP ME THROUGH ANXIETY ATTACKS WHEN THE GOING GETS ROUGH.WE HAVE THREE ADULT CHILDREN WHO ALL LIVE IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE COUNTRY. THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND MY FEELINGS TOWARDS THEIR MOTHER AND THEY KEEP INSISTING THAT WE GO INTO AN ASSISTED LIVING HOME.I WILL NOT DO THAT UNLESS I BECOME PHYSICALLY INCAPABLE OF HELPING THEIR MOTHER.WE HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 64 YEARS AND HAVE ENJOYED ALL OF THE EXPERIENCES OF OUR MARRIAGE TOGETHER. BOTH MY WIFE AND MYSELF HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ACTIVE IN COMMUNITY AFFAIRS. OUR LIVES HAVE BEEN A WONDERFUL ADVENTURE UP UNTIL NOW.I AM WRITING THIS TO ALL WHO ARE EXPERIENCING SIMILAR SITUATIONS TO OURS.MY ADVISE IS," STICK WITH YOUR PARTNER".. IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN YOU WHO WOULD BE THE PATIENT AND YOUR SPOUSE THE CAREGIVER. THINGS COULD ALWAYS BE WORSE SO ACCEPT THE FACT THAT IT IS A BLESSING WHEN A MARRIED COUPLE CAN STAY TOGETHER THROUGH ROUGH TIMES AS WELL AS GOOD ONES.THANKS FOR LISTENING.

    Reply

    • January 3, 2012 at 10:02 am | Posted by Cat Koehler

      Leonard, your words are truly an example of what "for better or worse" means. Your dedication to wife is beautiful - thank you for sharing your story!Cat Koehler Home Instead Senior Care

      Reply

    • May 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Posted by Bryan Mierau

      Leonard, I appreciate also your dedication to caring for your wife and yet know that for those who can afford it, Assisted Living can be a helpful stress reducer. You are still together in a home-like apartment, but you don't bear the burden of total responsibility for care. Something to think about.

      Reply

    • December 31, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Posted by Wayne King

      Please review my last, it is tough but you, nor I, can give up.Remember the good times and "every day is another day in Paradise".Paradise lost is not a solution.

      Reply

  14. November 20, 2011 at 2:29 am | Posted by Anonymous

    great test I did it for my mum who cares for me and got gauge of how stressed she is i think a few more questions might make it a little more accurate but as one said do they have dementia or have mobitlity issues and one other thing and could only check one box so had to check do they have 2 or more box should be so can check which of these affect the person being cared for even if tick all 3 issues then could get more accurate help suggestions at end of test. despite that i do feel they should also have one of these for the person being cared for to do so they can see what stress level they have as its stressful to rely on someone aswell. its important more awareness is raised about caring and frail in society and help they need and difficulties that come with that. thanks for listening and my thoughts & prayers are with all the disabled wether old or young & the carers.

    Reply

  15. November 11, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Posted by Nano Wood-Lackey

    I took this test but I am not a care giver of a family member, I am a Home Instead Caregiver. I have 2 H.I. clients and 4 outside of H.I. Mostly I do the new "Quick Visits" as my physical ability is not what it used to be. I keep my stress level down by remembering to "take care of me so I can take care of thee". We must always be sure we get proper nutrition, enough exersize and plenty of sleep. We must also take care to lift and move in the proper way so as not to hurt ourselves as we care for another. I love my job (and my clients as if they were my own parents). The families are all supportive so I have it easy. Thanks for letting me share. Nano :)

    Reply

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