Alzheimer's Disease: Managing Caregiver Stress

Fulfilling and adapting to the changing needs of the person with Alzheimer's and dealing with unfamiliar behavior and practical matters take a physical and emotional toll on caregivers. If these pressures are not periodically relieved, caregivers may experience exhaustion, illness, and depression.

Warning Signs

Caregivers deserve to give themselves credit for doing the best they can in very trying circumstances. To address the negative effects of stress, caregivers first need to recognize the signs, including:

  • Feeling of denial, depression, irritability, anger, and anxiety
  • Physical signs such as trouble sleeping, exhaustion, and health problems

Reducing Stress

Some ways to reduce stress include:

  • Take time out to relax.
  • Engage in an enjoyable pastime.
  • Do one thing at a time.
  • Keep a list of tasks.
  • Write in a journal.
  • Maintain a sense of humor.
  • Eat right.
  • Exercise.
  • Get proper rest.

For many caregivers, the more they learn about Alzheimer's disease, the better they can cope. They can:

  • Learn to recognize the things that can be changed and accept those that cannot
  • Identify sources of help
  • Let go of unrealistic expectations
  • Adapt to their loved one's changing needs
  • Understand that a positive attitude can change a bad day into a better one

View or download Managing Stress: Caring for the Caregiver, a publication that provides tips to help you adapt to changes in the person you are caring for and develop new skills to shoulder an increasing amount of responsibility. 

Don't miss out.
Receive research updates, inspiring stories, and expert advice
Keep me informed about: *
Please select at least one.
You must select at least one disease category.
Please enter your first name.
Please enter your last name.

Related Experts & Advice

  • Illustration of a brain depicting vascular dementia
    Expert

    What is Vascular Dementia?

    Vascular dementia is regarded by some authorities as the second most common dementia in older adults. It is caused by damage to brain cells deprived of blood flow and life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients due to reduced circulation or blockage of the brain’s blood vessels. The subsequent brain damage results in cognition and behavior changes.

    July 8, 2019
  • A physician talking to a patient who has symtpoms of frontotemporal dementia
    Expert

    Symptoms of Frontotemporal Dementia

    Frontotemporal dementia is a form of dementia in which behavior and language are first to show dramatic changes, unlike Alzheimer’s disease, which typically begins with memory disturbance.

    June 10, 2019
  • A physician reviewing brain scan images on a computer.
    Expert

    The Latest on LATE: A New Form of Dementia

    Learn about a new form of dementia, called LATE. The article discusses how many people may have this form of dementia, the brain regions that are affected by this disorder, how it is currently diagnosed, and the next steps for research.

    May 23, 2019