Caregiver Stress: The Impact of Long Term Illness on the Family
by Amy Scholten, MPH
Some health problems last for a long time or do not go away. Examples are Parkinson’s disease, AIDS, cancer, or Alzheimer’s disease. Many people with long term conditions need help with daily routines.
Caregiving can be very stressful. Caregivers often have to take care of their families and work. Their stress may spread to family, friends, and coworkers.
Signs of Stress
Be alert for signs of stress. They can affect both the caregiver and the person with the condition. Signs are:
For caregivers stress may come from:
For the person with long term conditions, stress may be due to:
Steps to Care for Yourself
Long term illnesses can bring heavy demands. Here are some tips to help:
You do not need to go through this alone. There are resources to help you and your loved one. Reach out and contact someone for the support you deserve.
Family Caregiver Alliance
US Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living
Alzheimer Society of Canada
Alzheimer dementia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/alzheimer-dementia. Accessed June 28, 2021.
Caregiver health and wellness. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at:https://familydoctor.org/caregiver-health-and-wellness/ . Accessed June 28, 2021.
Caregiver stress. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/caregiver-stress/. Accessed June 28, 2021.
Take care of you yourself. Alzheimer's Association website. Available at:
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Accessed June 28, 2021.
Last reviewed June 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
Last Updated: 6/28/2021
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