Family Caregiving Stress

Providing ongoing care to a family member with chronic or disabling conditions can be incredibly difficult. Family caregiver stress occurs when a caregiver becomes so focused on the needs of their loved one (in this case a family member) that they aren't aware of their own well-being. Symptoms of caregiver stress include irregular sleep patterns, fluctuations in weight, and feeling overwhelmed, tired, irritable or constantly worried. To manage family caregiving stress, it can help to seek support from others that are in a similar situation (e.g. a support group), or work with a professional to practice self-care, set realistic goals, set boundaries, and learn to accept help. If you are experiencing the stress of caring for a family member, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s specialists today.

Meet the specialists

There are two big components of Family/Caregiver Health: good communication and the ability to forgive. I have specialized training in what can be the difficult process of forgiving, as well as being forgiven. I also have specialized training in nonviolent communication methods. And sometimes the caregiver, or family member, just needs a private place to say all of the "awful things" that they don't think anyone else wants to hear, or should. I am happy to feel the anger, be grossed out about the icky stuff, and laugh at the foolishness with you!

— Susan Rooney, Counselor in Portland, OR

In addition to personal experience as a caregiver, I have worked with family caregivers who provide care for older adults for nearly 30 years. Caregiving is a tremendous challenge, so I offer free caregiver workshops to provide support and resources. Past clients include caregivers for older adults living with dementia, intellectual and physical disabilities, and life-limiting illnesses.

— Pamela Kuras, Counselor in Benson, NC

Throughout my career and research on caregiving stress, it has become apparent that there are many giving people in the world. The problem is many givers tend to be terrible receivers. So many spend their lives taking care of others, leaving themselves feeling tired, depressed, anxious, or even overwhelmed. I have developed tools to help caregivers bring balance back to their lives to help manage the stress of caring for others.

— Crystal Deichert, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Aurora, CO
 

Whether your perspective is that of a child, parent, caregiver, or all of the above, the experience of being part of a caregiving unit is going to require a great deal of patience, good communication skills, diplomacy, anger management, forgiveness, goodwill and love. It's a tall order. We all need help.

— Susan Rooney, Counselor in Portland, OR