10 Symptoms of Caregiver Stress


10 Symptoms of Caregiver Stress

It’s important to be aware of caregiver burnout. You cannot provide effective care if you neglect your own physical and mental well-being.

February 17, 2017

Caring for a loved one with dementia can take a physical and emotional toll. As demands grow, caregivers often report feelings of sadness, stress, guilt, anger, isolation, and depression. The Alzheimer’s Association® has prepared a list of ten signs of caregiver stress. A strained caregiver is unlikely to provide quality care to a friend or loved one with dementia. Please see your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms on a regular basis:

  1. Denial about the disease and its effect on the person who has been diagnosed. 
    “I know Mom is going to get better.”
  2. Anger at the person with Alzheimer’s, the fact there is no cure, or that people don’t understand what’s happening. 
    “If he asks me that one more time, I’ll scream!”
  3. Social withdrawal from friends and activities that once brought pleasure. 
    “I don’t care about getting together with friends anymore.”
  4. Anxiety about the future. 
    “What happens when he needs more care than I can provide?”
  5. Depression* that begins to break your spirit and affects your ability to cope. This can include thoughts of suicide or death. 
    “I don’t care anymore.”
  6. Exhaustion that makes it nearly impossible to complete necessary daily tasks. 
    “I’m too tired for this.”
  7. Sleeplessness caused by a never-ending list of concerns. 
    “What if she wanders out of the house or falls and hurts herself?”
  8. Irritability that leads to moodiness and triggers negative responses and actions. 
    “Leave me alone!”
  9. Lack of concentration that makes it difficult to perform familiar tasks. 
    “I was so busy; I forgot we had an appointment.”
  10. Health problems that begin to take a mental and physical toll.
    “I can’t remember the last time I felt good.”


Being a caregiver can be overwhelming, and the stress associated with this critical role can make it difficult to take action. Transamerica's Caregiver's Guide to Financial Planning in the Shadow of Dementia, written in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AgeLab, was created to help you feel confident when making decisions for, or with, a loved one living with dementia. Work with your financial advisor before taking final action.

*Depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders, according to the American Psychiatric Association. With proper treatment, almost all people with depression gain some relief from their symptoms.

This content was created and distributed by Transamerica Capital, Inc.

Raymond James is not affiliated with Transamerica or MIT AgeLab.

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