The Journey of a Caregiver
October 26, 2014
10 Signs of Caregiver Stress(Alzheimer's Association 2009)
- DENIAL about the disease and its effects on the person who has been diagnosed. "I know Mom's going to get better."
- ANGER at the person with Alzheimer's or others; that no effective treatments or cures currently exist and that people don't understand what's going on. "If he asks me that question one more time, I'll scream."
- SOCIAL WITHDRAWAL from friends and activities that once brought pleasure. "I don't care about getting together with the neighbors anymore."
- ANXIETY about facing another day and what the future holds. "What happens when he needs more care than I can provide?"
- DEPRESSION begins to affect the ability to cope. "I don't care anymore."
- EXHAUSTION makes it nearly impossible to complete necessary daily tasks. "I'm too tired for this."
- SLEEPLESSNESS caused by a never-ending list of concerns. "What if she wanders out of the house or falls and hurts herself?"
- IRRITABILITY leads to moodiness and triggers negative responses and reactions. "Leave me alone!"
- LACK OF CONCENTRAIION makes it difficult to perform familiar tasks. "I was so busy, I forgot we had an appointment."
- HEALTH PROBLEMS begin to take their toll, both mentally and physically. "I can't remember the last time I felt good."
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF RESOURCES FOR CAREGIVERSBOOKS
Bledsoe, Wanda Scott and Bledsoe, Milt. Walking Together Through Illness: Twelve Steps for Caregivers and Care Receivers. Minneapolis: Augsburg Books, 2006
Bridges, William. Transitions: Strategies for coping with the Difficult, Painful, and Confusing Times in Your Life, 2nd Ed. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books, 2004
Feil, Naomi. The Validation Breakthrough: Simple Techniques for Communicating with People with “Alzheimer’s-Type Dementia.” Baltimore: Health Professions Press, 2002
Hicks, Josephine H. If There’s Anything I Can Do: What you Can Do When Serious Illness Strikes. Charlotte, NC: SPARK Publications, 2011
Lake, Nell. The Caregivers: A Support Group’s Stories of Slow Loss, Courage, and Love. New York: Scribner, 2014
Mace, Nancy L. and Rabins, Peter V. The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementing Illnesses, and Memory Loss in Later Life. New York: Warner Books, 1984, 2001, 2006
McLeod, Beth Witrogen. Caregiving: The Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss, and Renewal. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
Rupp, Joyce. Praying Our Goodbyes: A Spiritual Companion Through Life’s Losses and Sorrows. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1988, 2009
Samples, Pat; Larsen, Diane; Larsen, Marvin.Self-Care for Caregivers: A Twelve Step Approach. Center City, MN: Hazelden, 1991
Shenk, David. The Forgetting: Alzheimer’s Portrait of an Epidemic. New York: Anchor Books, 2001, 2003
Strong, Maggie. Mainstay: for the Well Spouse of the Chronically Ill. Northampton, MA: Bradford Books, 1988, 1997
Thibault, Jane Marie and Morgan, Richard L. No Act of Love is Ever Wasted: The Spirituality of Caring for Persons with Dementia. Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2009
Upper Room, Daily Bread, Forward Day by Day, God Calling, Jesus Calling, or any daily devotional book.
Not Alone: Encouragement for Caregivers and The Struggles of Caregiving by Nell Noonan are specifically for caregivers (Upper Room Books).
The National Alliance for Caregivers has an excellent website: www.caregiving.org.