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Caregiver Distress Risk Factors

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Sometimes the responsibilities of caring for a family member can go beyond just “stressing you out,” and instead can put you at risk for developing long-term health issues. When the pressures of caregiving build up, a family caregiver can move from just being stressed to actually suffering from “distress.”

“Stressors include too many caregiver demands, not enough help caring for a loved one, feeling alone, financial problems, and work loss. These all can lead to caregiver distress and burden,” says Dr. Peter Vitaliano, a professor at the University of Washington.

Some risk factors for developing caregiver distress include:

  • Being a woman caregiver
  • Suffering from a chronic illness
  • Caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s disease
  • Lacking coping skills
  • Having difficulty solving problems
  • Lacking adequate resources
  • Being uncomfortable asking for help

Download these PDFs to learn more or to share with a caregiver you know.

To learn more about caregiver distress, visit these resources:

Rocket Fuel

Last revised: May 16, 2013

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. March 10, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Posted by Hazrl

    My husband has dementia and I'm the caregiver. So far I think I'm doing ok but I know the road is going to get rougher. I am able to get out once a week to get my hair done. Its at the beauty school so the cost is low. A friend comes and gets my husband on Wed. afternoons to "go for coffee" and he encourages me to go shopping if I need to. Sometimes I just sit and relax at this time. Is there something else I might be doing to help keep from getting stressed out to the point I can't take care of my husband. We are on a limited income so that could be a problem down the road. I hope and pray not. Thank you


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