How Stress Impacts Spousal Caregivers

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The Effects of Stress on Spousal Caregivers in Mississauga, ON

It’s estimated there are more than a million spousal caregivers in Canada facing the added stress of caring for a loved one with dementia. Even when dementia isn’t involved, tending to the needs of a spouse with other conditions requiring special care can have a similar impact on the health of the spouse acting as the caregiver. Here are a few ways stress can impact spousal caregivers.

Taking Spousal Reactions Personally

Confusion, sudden angry outbursts, and the inability to recall important memories are condition-specific reactions often taken personally by spousal caregivers. While it may be difficult to do so, it’s important for caregiving spouses to realize it’s the illness or disease causing these reactions, not the person.

Hire a professional caregiver if you need a break from your caregiving duties. In-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Increased Vulnerability to Stress-Related Conditions

As care needs become increasingly more demanding, spousal caregivers often experience increased anxiety that sometimes leads to depression and other stress-related conditions. Added stress may also cause resentment toward family members who are unable to provide significant assistance. Stress-related symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Increased aches and pains
  • Frequent headaches

One of the best ways to care for yourself is to hire a professional caregiver to be there for your spouse when you need a break. Families shouldn’t have to worry about finding reliable elder care. Mississauga Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of elderly home care. We offer a proprietary program called the Balanced Care Method, which uses holistic methods to promote senior health, our caregivers and Care Managers are available 24/7, and all of our in-home care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Neglecting Personal Care Needs

Spousal caregivers often place the needs of their loved ones over their own needs. If personal care needs are neglected, the spouse providing the care may put him or herself at increased risk for developing serious illnesses, sustaining injuries, or not being as responsive to immediate care needs due to increased fatigue. Spousal caregivers may also reach a point where they:

  • Overlook signs of possible health issues
  • Skip their own medical appointments
  • Dismiss expressions of concern from family members

A study of caregivers in Canada found half the respondents reported multiple symptoms of psychological distress coupled with increased feelings of isolation. Such findings emphasize the need for spousal caregivers to realize it’s all right to ask for help from other family members or respite care providers, consider long-term professional care options, and accept their own limitations.

Mississauga respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at 905-337-1200 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.


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