Six Signs of Home Caregiver Stress

December 15, 2014
Caregivers at home need stress relief

Home caregivers should be on the lookout for signs of stress. (Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Home caregivers have a tremendous amount on their plates, and anyone with such responsibility may at times feel a bit stressed. That is totally normal. However, when stress becomes chronic, it have a significant negative impact upon an individual’s life.

Further complicating the issue, many caregivers become so caught up in the whirlwind of their lives that they don’t see that stress has become a problem. Thus, they need to stop their busy routines sometimes and check their stress levels.

Below are a number of signs that often accompany stress. If home caregivers recognize many of these, they need to seriously think about ways that they can reduce the amount of stress in their world.

Signs and symptoms

  1. Headaches. The occasional headache is to be expected for home caregivers (and for all people, for that matter). However, when headaches occur several times a week – or worse, several times a day – or if they are intense and severe, stress is likely a possible cause.
  2. Jaw clenching or teeth grinding. Stress often causes tension in the mouth and jaw, resulting in painful clenching or wearing down of the teeth through grinding.
  3. Dizziness or feelings of faintness. Stress can impact blood pressure, which is one of the reasons that stress can be of great concern. Often that impact causes vertigo or feelings of lightheadedness; in some cases, it may cause a person to actually faint, especially while moving from a seated to a standing position.
  4. Colds and infections. Again, everyone gets sick, but stress can dampen one’s immune system, making frequent coughs, colds, or persistent infections common.
  5. Heartburn and nausea. Stress can wreak havoc on the digestive system, making it difficult for a person to probably process the food which he or she consumes. Intense or frequent heartburn or an upset stomach may be a sign of stress.
  6. Loss of interest in sex.  Many home caregivers state that their chores often leave them little time for expressing themselves sexually; if what is occurring instead is a loss of actual interest in sexual activity, stress may be dampening the libido.

These are by no means the only symptoms of stress. Home caregivers who suspect (or know) that they are experiencing high levels of stress should definitely consult with a medical professional to determine what they can do to lower their stress to acceptable levels.

Writer, Craig Butler

Craig Butler has been writing on a wide range of topics for more than fifteen years. As the National Communications Director for the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Craig regularly writes on a range of health and medical topics. Among the many projects he has written for the Foundation is the Cooley's Anemia Storybook, a collection of original short stories for children with the blood disorder Cooley's Anemia. His freelance work has ranged from reviewing moves and CDs to creating entertainment-related stories about baldness, to creating text for comic strips. Craig looks forward to having a dialogue with you about senior care and issues of concern.

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