CAREGIVER STRESS Interdisciplinary Community-Based Health Education Project Funded by:HRSA Grant# 1 D37 HP 00838-01 Long Island University/Brooklyn Campus.
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CAREGIVER STRESS Interdisciplinary Community-Based Health Education Project Funded by:HRSA Grant# 1 D37 HP 00838-01 Long Island University/Brooklyn Campus
CAREGIVER STRESS Francine Conway, Ph.D. Samuel Jones, DSW Long Island University, Social Work Department
A Profile of America’s Caregivers Women Unpaid 45 yr. and older Family members
Is Caregiving Stressful? Who are the care recipients? –Ailing spouses/partners, family members (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, Parkinson) –Adult disabled children (e.g. Developmental disorders and mental illnesses such as Mental Retardation, Autism, Schizophrenia, Substance Abuse etc.) –Grandchildren
Stress in Caregiving Caregiving situation: Caregiving situation: Alzheimer’s Disease What is Alzheimer’s Disease? –“Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, and the most common form of dementia” (2003 Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association, Inc. ). –4 million Americans and 1 in 10 persons over 65 have AD –Average life span is eight years. –Most individuals with AD live at home –Most of the home care is provided by family and friends. Behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s disease that contributes to caregiver stress: –Dementia: personality changes, agitated behavior, anxiety, delusions and hallucinations –Loss of brain function lead to the need for complete care and eventually results in death. –Progression of illness varies widely and can change drastically
Stress in Caregiving Caring for an adult child with mental illness What is schizophrenia? –A psychological disorder caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain Problematic behaviors: –limited ability to care for activities of daily living –Poor judgement, requires structured supervised activities –Hallucinations, delusional thoughts –Poor work history, financially dependent
Stress in Caregiving Parenting grandchild Reasons for grandparents raising grandchildren? Parent’s death, substance abuse, incarceration, HIV/AIDS, financial difficulties 5.4 million children living in grandparents’ homes (US Census 2000). Commonly encountered problems Family conflicts, financial strain, behavioral problems, academic difficulties, custodial challenges, negotiating the social service system etc.
Signs of Caregiver Stress Physical Signs of Stress Tension or migraine headaches Muscle tension, aching shoulders and back Gritting or grinding your teeth Palpitations with no history of heart disease Changes in your health status Not feeling well with different symptoms every day
Signs of Caregiver Stress Eating and Sleeping Behavior Difficulty falling asleep, restless sleep, fatigue Loss of appetite or over eating Weight loss or gain Digestive problems, upset stomach Use of alcohol or pills to sleep, stay awake, or relax
Signs of Caregiver Stress Thoughts and Feelings No pleasure or interest in activities Feeling guilty Socially isolated Irritable or short tempered Feeling emotional overwhelmed Increased number of small accidents Difficulty in focusing and concentrating Forgetfulness
Coping with Caregiver Stress Schedule some private time to: Re-connect with friends Go for a walk Exercise Take a hot bath Listen to your favorite music Or do something enjoyable!
Coping with Caregiver Stress Learn about the condition affecting your family member. Take care of yourself: Eat nutritious meals, Rest Exercise to reduce stress.
Coping with Caregiver Stress Ask for help family members, friends and neighbors community organization or church medical social worker Share your experiences with others. caregiver support group
Caregiving Stress Activity Identifying Resources –Caregiver exchange- Area Agency on Aging –Adult Day Health Care –Companionship services –Escort services –Meals on wheels –Homemaker services –Respite care services –Social day care –Transportation
References www.alzheimernyc.org www.alzheimernyc.org National Alliance of the mentally ill: www.nami.org www.nami.org Caregiver’s handbook: www.seniormag.orgwww.seniormag.org U.S. Census 2000 New York City Department for the Aged