10 Signs of Caregiver Stress

Dr. Chris Votolato, Director of Behavioral Health
Serving as the caregiver for a spouse, parent or loved one in need can be very rewarding, but this role may also lead to physical strain, competing demands, financial hardship and relationship problems. The Alzheimer’s Association has identified 10 Signs of Caregiver Stress that can apply to anyone who is regularly providing care to another adult with limitations in daily activities.

  1. Denial about the disease and its effect on the person who has been diagnosed.
  2. Anger at the person you are caring for.
  3. Social withdrawal from friends and activities that once brought pleasure.
  4. Anxiety about the future.
  5. Depression that begins to break your spirit and affects your ability to cope.
  6. Exhaustion that makes it nearly impossible to complete necessary daily tasks.
  7. Sleeplessness caused by a never-ending list of concerns.
  8. Irritability that leads to moodiness and triggers negative responses and actions.
  9. Lack of concentration that makes it difficult to perform familiar tasks.
  10. Health problems that begin to take a mental and physical toll.

If you recognize these signs in yourself, ask for support from family and friends. Seek out professionals who can help, like your physician or a clergy member, or join a community or online caregiver support group. Shell Point Retirement Community offers two services for caregivers to consider: Short-Term Respite Care at The Springs, and an on-site Adult Day Health Program coordinated by Hope Hospice. Both of these programs give family members peace of mind from knowing their loved one is being well cared for in a safe environment. Call (239) 454-2077 for more information about the Springs, or call (855) 454-3100 to learn more about the Hope Hospice Adult Day Health Program.

About Chris Votolato, Psy.D, Director of Behavioral Health, Shell Point Retirement Community

Dr. Chris Votolato has been with Shell Point since 2007. Dr. Votolato received his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology in Washington, D.C. His undergraduate degree from Loyola College and his master’s degree from the University of Baltimore are both in the field of Psychology. In addition to his administrative role at Shell Point, Dr. Votolato provides both therapeutic and neurocognitive services to geriatric patients in outpatient, long-term and acute rehabilitation care, and nursing home settings. He has special interests in memory and cognition, as well as stress and anxiety. He has presented to a wide variety of audiences from consumer groups to police officers, on a range of topics related to mental illness and stress.