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Caregiver Stress

Everyone knows that caring for others is stressful. For most people, caring for children immediately comes to mind, but the term "caregiver" has come to more specifically mean someone who cares for aging parents, spouses, friends, or adult children with special needs. Caregiving involves not only the physical and daily needs of persons who are ill or disabled, but also finding resources to meet the needs of loved ones.

What is caregiver stress?

Caregiver stress is the emotional strain of caregiving that results from the unique pressures and demands placed on caregivers. Changes in today’s world, especially the proximity of extended family members, means that caregiving needs are being met in changing ways. Caregiver stress is different than childrearing demands in that caregivers’ tasks usually increase over time as a loved one’s independent functioning diminishes.

What are the signs of caregiver stress?

What can you do to relieve caregiver stress?

As a caregiver, you are sensitive to the needs of others. You couldn’t do it if you weren’t, but you should always remember to take care of yourself—you’ll need to feel satisfied and generally healthy to best meet the needs of the people who depend on you. Use the following tips to help take care of yourself and relieve caregiver stress.

Want help handling caregiver stress?

The university’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has counselors who are trained to provide emotional support and direction for people experiencing caregiver stress. The EAP has an eldercare specialist who can help answer your questions and direct you to the community services designed to help you. You can make an appointment with the EAP by calling 512-471-3366.