Caregiver Stress Essay

1521 Words Nov 26th, 2011 7 Pages
ASC 4126 – The AIDS Pandemic

Caregiver Stress

Caregivers are those people who provide assistance to other people who are unable to perform certain activities on their own because of a physical disability or chronic illness. Formal care can be obtained at home, or from institutions such as nursing homes, and is offered by trained, paid or volunteer professional caregivers. However, informal care, which is usually offered by family members or friends, often in a home setting, is becoming increasingly common. These caregivers are normally inexperienced, untrained, and otherwise lacking the education necessary to maintain their own good health under the stressful conditions they face. Informal caregiving can have significant
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These caregivers, as part of losing their own identity, may be putting there own needs behind the needs of the person they are caring for. The result of this is that many of the warning signs that the caregiver is risking their own health are either overlooked, or attributed to being overwhelmed or tired from the extensive amount of time and energy that is required in caregiving. It is important for caregivers to educate themselves about the signs or symptoms of caregiver stress so that they can be sure to maintain their own good health. This is the only way to continue to be able to care for their loved one, as well as to help prevent a medical situation in which they could eventually require full time care themselves.
The warning signs of caregiver stress vary from person to person, but doctors and psychologists have formulated general symptoms that people should pay attention to. At risk caregivers may exhibit denial about the disease or its severity, anger at the person with the disease, an inability to concentrate and severe irritability. Other psychological conditions could include depression and anxiety, dulled emotions and frequent memory lapses. They might be quick to cry or get angry, or have the consistent feeling that they simply can not cope anymore. Physical symptoms could
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