Alzheimer's Association launches interactive Caregiver Stress Check
According to the Alzheimer's Association 2008 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, more than 40 percent of the 10 million American unpaid caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high. Additionally, caregivers for someone with Alzheimer's or another dementia are more likely than non-caregivers to report that their health is fair or poor.
This November, during National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month, the Alzheimer's Association is helping to relieve the physical and emotional stress these caregivers experience with the introduction of a new resource – Caregiver Stress Check.
Caregiver Stress Check is a first-of-its-kind, interactive quiz that helps caregivers identify their symptoms of stress and provides them with a tailored list of helpful referrals and resources. Check out the quiz at www.alz.org/stresscheck. Stress check includes simple statements such as:
- Feeling like I have to do it all myself because no one else cares about my family members like I do and feeling that I should be doing more.
- Withdrawal from family, friends and activities that I used to enjoy.
- Worry about the person I care for being safe.
- Anxiety about money and health care expenses.
When caregivers answer "yes" to stress symptoms, they are lead to Alzheimer's Association resources designed to alleviate their specific issues. For example, if the caregiver worries about the safety of the person they care for, they might be directed to MedicAlert® + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return®, a national program to combat wandering.
"Caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease poses special challenges and increasing levels of care that can be taxing on the caregiver's health," says Peter Reed, Ph.D., senior director of programs at the Alzheimer's Association. "Our new Caregiver Stress Check will help caregivers maintain their own health, which is crucial in caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease."
The Alzheimer's Association is also offering two new, best-in-class, programs for caregivers and people with dementia: 1) "Understanding Alzheimer's: An introductory guide" and 2) "Alzheimer's and Safety: A guide to planning and preparation." Aimed at increasing understanding, building skills and empowering people with dementia and those in their circle of care, these leading programs feature essential information on dementia basics, care, home and transportation safety delivered by individuals with dementia, family caregivers, physicians and care experts.
The programs will be offered in DVD format at www.alz.org.
The Alzheimer's Association continues to offer its other various programs and services that help people affected by Alzheimer's at every stage of the disease. In addition to the 77 Alzheimer's Association chapters nationwide, its toll-free helpline (800.272.3900) with translators for 140 languages and informative Web site (www.alz.org) are available 24/7, 365 days a year.
Launched in November 2007, the Alzheimer's Association also has a suite of caregiving resources, Alzheimer's Association CareSource, that provide information to ease decision-making, build skills to care for loved ones and keep people living with the disease safe. Alzheimer's Association's CareSource tools include:
- CareFinder – A starting point for caregivers to get guidance and information on all types of dementia care and find out what kind will best fit their needs. CareFinder helps caregivers recognize good care, communicate effectively with providers and plan for care.
- Senior Housing Finder powered by SNAPforSeniors® – The first free, dementia-specific senior housing database.
- Lotsa Helping Hands – A free online calendar to help caregivers and friends/family manage requests and schedules.
- MedicAlert + Safe Return – A program that provides assistance when a person with Alzheimer's or a related dementia wanders and becomes lost locally or far from home.
If you have been touched by Alzheimer's or are a caregiver to someone with the disease, there is help. For more information and resources, visit www.alz.org or call 800.272.3900.
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org.