Dementia’s Impact on the Caregiver

Caucasion woman showing concern for elderly caucasion woman with a blank stare

Dementia like many other diseases affects not only the individual but also their family. Family members quite often become the primary caregivers as the expense for outside support is extremely costly.Primary caregivers assist the individual with activities of daily living (ADLs) and supervise support care through the responsibility of managing medical needs and additional supportive staff. These responsibilities are a cumbersome burden that often leads to physical and emotional disturbances for the caregiver (CG).

"Marital discord and divorce, depression and anxiety, loss of employment, restriction of social life, invasion of privacy, impoverishment, and substance abuse have all been linked to care-giving stress."
-- Albert and Freedman

Caregiver’s Health

As a family CG, witnessing a loved one progress through dementia can be heartbreaking as you see your family member’s memories disappear and skills erode. In addition to the emotional pain, providing care for an individual with dementia can be very fatiguing not only from the physical demands but also the mental challenges.

Symptoms of Caregiver Depression

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in activates
  • Irritability and frustration
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Changes in appetite
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness