Every month should be National Caregiver Month. Caregivers are often the unsung heroes in families. But the stress on the caregiver can be tremendous. In a study and article by Richard, PhD and Paula Sherwood, PhD, RN, CNRN, they found that:
- “Caregiving often results in chronic stress, which comprises caregiver’s physical psychological health.
- Depression is one of the common negative effects of caregiving.
- Caring for a person with dementia is particularly challenging, causing more severe negative health effects than other types of caregiving.
- Caregiving can also be beneficial, enabling caregivers to feel good about themselves, learn new skills, and strengthen family relationships.”
One of the challenges is that caregivers often do not recognize that they are under stress. The American Medical Association has developed a Caregiver Self-Assessment Questionnaire. It is only 18 questions long. On page two it tells you how to score it and provides contact information for resources that might help. You can link to the questionnaire on our website here.
Locally, there are many caregiver support groups around the Twin Cities. If you need help finding one near you contact Choice Connections and we can help.