The Exhausted Caregiver

When caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s not uncommon for the caregiver to battle lack of sleep and exhaustion. Psychologists define the exhausted caregiver as a recognized medical condition¬† known as a “debilitating psychological condition brought about by unrelieved stress”. As a caregiver you may suffer from both emotional and mental exhaustion. Signs of caregiver exhaustion may include:

Lack of energy

Poor sleep

Feeling run down or sick

Inability to relax and anxiety

Increased irritability, impatient, and argumentative

Feelings of helplessness

It is very stressful caring from someone with dementia or any other chronic condition, and there are days when it feels like it will never end. Here are some tips to help you manage your exhaustion:

Be kind to yourself: No one can keep it all together all the time.

Consider professional help: it is not uncommon for caregivers to develop anxiety or depression. Consider joining a support group or seeing a therapist that understands the pressures of being a caregiver.

Make sleep your priority: Try writing before bed about all of your worries and what stresses you out. This may help cut down on ruminating thoughts that keep you awake.

Ask for help: Either from family members, your church, or home care, support is essential for any caregiver. Reach out to friends and make a point to spend some time with them, even if it’s only once a month.

Being a caregiver is the hardest job there is. You are not alone in your journey. Kemper House offers multiple support groups to help caregivers. Call (440) 846-1100 to find a support group near you.