Nursing Home Trends: Symptoms of Caregiver Stress

Nursing Home Trends Symptoms of Caregiver StressNursing Home Trends: Symptoms of Caregiver Stress

Oftentimes in the senior living industry, attention is paid to the seniors alone. Research, treatment plans, and senior living communities are all built to center around the unique needs of the aging. However, there is a second group that, while essential to the senior living industry, may be overlooked.

Caregivers are a rapidly expanding group. CNN even goes so far as to call it the “new normal.” As adults are living longer, and the baby boomers are nearing/in retirement, there is a larger population of aging adults than ever before. An estimated 65 million people in the U.S. are unpaid family caregivers, and seven in ten of those take care of someone 50 years or older.

The team of caregivers that help care for residents can experience symptoms of traumatic stress. The army of friends, family members, sons, and daughters who care for their relatives can experience significant distress.

Intrusive thoughts, hyper-vigilance, disabling anxiety, and avoidance behaviors are just a few behaviors that can result. These behaviors can persist months and even years after loved ones die. Feelings of numbness, guilt, dread, tension or depression are just a few of the symptoms that a caregiver may be experience signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Overwhelming emotional reactions to the passing of loved ones is common, especially when they take on the burden of caregiver. It is extremely difficult for caregivers to see loved ones in pain and suffering, and remain helpless to alleviate it. Oftentimes, the stress of the situation is emotionally and physically exhausting.

The signs of extreme duress or PTSD are not for a caregiver to self-diagnose. Even an appearance of just one of these symptoms may not be indicative of having the condition. An expert is the one who will determine that.

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