Caring for a Loved One with Memory Loss – Part 1: The Truth About Caregiver Stress and Burnout

Jul 1, 2020

When it comes to caring for a loved one with memory loss, there are many things caregivers may face. From anxiety and depression to uncertainty and fear, it’s true that caring for those with memory loss is no easy feat. After all, most caregivers don’t know much about memory loss ahead of a diagnosis, and caregiving opens up a new world of learning, emotions and stress. This is why it’s important for caregivers to know what to expect ahead of time and be prepared with knowledge, support and more.

The Truth About Caregiver Stress and Burnout

While caregiving for those with memory loss can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience, it can also be full of caregiver stress, burnout and negative health impacts. Fortunately, we are here to help you. Consider some of the following truths about caregiver stress and burnout, how to prevent it from occurring and how you can help manage it!

  • It can affect anyone. Whether you have assistance or don’t, have been a caregiver to a loved one with dementia before or haven’t, have few responsibilities or many, caregiver stress and burnout doesn’t discriminate. It can be easy to think that those with experience, who don’t have families or those who have formal training are less likely to experience this, however this is far from the case. No matter who you are, your background or how far you are in your journey, stress and burnout can reach you, making it difficult to manage emotions, your loved ones’ care and more.
  • It’s important to ask for help. Many caregivers feel as though they need to take care of caregiving on their own. This, however, can cause an array of problems and greatly add to stress and burnout. Be sure to ask for help from others, whether it’s simply having someone else pick up a prescription, deliver meals, assist you with grocery shopping or even tending to yardwork. This can take just enough off your to-do list that you can relax, take a deep breath and release some stress.
  • Stress and burnout can make your loved one with dementia act out. If your stress and mental health is not well-managed, your loved one may pick up on it and display those same behaviors back to you. This not only has a tendency to make caregiving harder, but it also can add to your already full mental capacity. Seek support from friends and family, know when it’s time to take a break and consider having someone come in to help you. It could be the difference between additional stress and a moment of peace.
  • It can have a large negative impact on your own health. Caregivers are known for putting themselves last. This can mean they put their own health on the back burner, forget to eat meals, lack the necessary sleep they need to function properly and more. We know how hard caregiving can be, so it’s important to ensure you’re able to take time for you, exercise, eat healthy and nutritious meals and spend time talking to friends and family.

When it comes to caregiving, stress and the difficulties of caring for those with various forms of memory loss, we can provide expert advice to help you lessen, prevent and manage the effects of stress and burnout. Simply give us a call to learn more today.

If you are a caregiver looking for ways to ask your loved ones for help, or if you know someone who could use some support, stay tuned for part two of this blog, where we will detail how others can support caregivers on their journey.

Experience The Sterling Life

At The Grande at Sterling Estates of West Cobb, we provide an exceptional experience for those in need of a Memory Care Center of Excellence. Our residents can enjoy everything they need to live engaging and fulfilling lives – from an array of programs and activities and a variety of amenities, to the peace of mind of dedicated care and a world of possibilities for enhanced wellness each day.

With spacious features that include a fitness center, dining room, and a greenhouse as well as small, easy-to-navigate neighborhoods for residents to enjoy, they can experience safety and comfort as well as the independence to explore.

As a partner with the Hearthstone Institute, we provide Dr. John Zeisel’s I’m Still Here® programming to change the way residents live. Each day, they can experience a joyful, fulfilling and active life while experiencing the care they deserve. To learn more, contact us today!

Call us at 770-383-1779 for more information or to schedule a personal visit today.