Caregiver Stress

Almost half of all patients with dementia have Alzheimer’s disease. The usual onset of Alzheimer’s is after the age of 65, though it can appear earlier. Caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease (or any kind of dementia) can be stressful and sometimes frustrating for family members. As discussed in Chapter 15 it takes a heavy emotional, mental, and physical toll to take care of their parents as they deteriorate mentally and physically. Support systems are integral to the health of both the patient and the caregiver. It is important for not only caregivers themselves to recognize signs of caregiver burnout, but also for family and friends to be aware so caregivers can continue to maintain both physical, emotional, and mental health.

After reading “Caregiver Stress Burnout” and the American Psychological Association Monitor article “Caring for Caregivers”, consider the questions below. Then “submit” your response.

Question 1


Question 2


Question 3


Question 4

Answers will vary. One possibility: The meta-analysis found that caring for a family member with dementia is chronically stressful and can have physical health consequences for the caregivers. Caregivers registered 23 percent higher levels of stress hormones than noncaregivers, as well as elevated blood pressure and glucose levels, which could lead to hypertension and diabetes, respectively.

Question 5

Answers will vary. One possibility: The caregiver feels that he or she is making a significant contribution to the family, as well as fostering closeness and appreciation between the patient and caregiver, as well as other family members.

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