Wednesday Workshop – 7 Symptoms Caregivers Shouldn’t Ignore
Hello and welcome to Wednesday Workshop. Caregivers often accept their role with the understanding that providing care to a loved one will impact many areas of their lives. While it is true that a caregiver can expect to experience some fatigue, there are times when symptoms may arise that indicate a need to take action.
We present the top 7 symptoms that caregivers should never ignore along with how to regain their health and well-being:
1. Being in Denial – When you begin to notice that your loved one is experiencing symptoms of dementia, it is easy to ignore them and be in denial. However, doing this only hurts them and yourself. Failing to bring this to the attention of a medical professional could prevent your loved one from getting the necessary treatment.
2. Muscle and Joint Pain –While it is important to always practice safe lifting procedures, it is possible that heavy or repetitive lifting can take its toll on caregivers. Those who experience unusual pain in their muscles or joints should have it checked out by their physician.
3. Overwhelming Emotions – Caregivers are exposed to stressful situations on a daily basis, and it is common for a person to experience fluctuations in their emotions. However, feelings of lingering sadness, increased frustration and resentment can all signal a need for a break. Joining a support group, talking with a counselor and taking a few hours away can all help a person to avoid caregiver burnout and depression.
4. Increased Weight Gain or Loss – Sudden changes in a caregiver’s weight can be a sign that their body is responding negatively to the increased stress. Weight loss is common in caregivers who may skip meals so that they can tend to their loved one’s needs. Although serious weight changes should be discussed with a doctor, often all a caregiver needs is to recognize how their responsibilities are affecting their health so that they can modify their schedule.
5. Sleep Deprivation – The stress of caregiving can leave anyone yawning midday. So can insomnia, where you awaken and just can’t get back to sleep. Don’t ignore this symptom. It means your body is not getting enough rest to fully restore itself.
6. Chest Pain and Palpitations – It is rarely talked about, however, caregivers are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease due to the impact of stress upon their body. For this reason, any type of chest pain or heart palpitations should be assessed by a physician.
7. Resentment – Caregiver resentment is especially felt toward the person being cared for, when the caregiver’s life feels hijacked by responsibility and out of his or her own control. Without enough support or noncaregiving outlets, feelings of being ignored, abandoned, or criticized can fester into anger and depression.
If you are a caregiver and are in need of respite
Contact the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center at (877) 760-9199. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!