Family Caregiver Stress

As the Right at Home Chattanooga Community Relations Director, I have the privilege of visiting with clients in their homes.  During a recent visit, a client commented to me that "friends rarely come around anymore" and "he didn't blame them." It saddened me because there is truth in what he shared.

Caregiving can be lonely in addition to being stressful.  Four years ago, during their 54th year of marriage,  his wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and the disease has robbed her memory and created a void in what was meant to be a fun-filled retirement for the two of them. 

According to the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 'caregiving can lead to feelings of stress, guilt, anger, sadness, isolation — and depression. Depression affects different people in different ways and at different times. For example, someone may experience depression right after their family member has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Other caregivers may experience it as Alzheimer's progresses and the cognitive abilities of the person with Alzheimer's diminish.

In an effort to cope, let family and friends help you, try journaling, learn ways to relax and manage stress. Consider a local caregiver support group. A good resource to use for a listing of local support groups is Senior Directory

In addition, respite care provides an opportunity for a caregivers to take time for themselves. Call Right At Home Chattanooga at 423-803-2898 to discuss how we can assist you and your loved one with quality, compassionate care. 

Ryan Naegele
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