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Caregiver Dementia

September 14, 2015
First coined in the 1980s, “Caregiver Dementia” strikes an estimated 100 million overwhelmed and stressed-out caregivers worldwide. It is not an official diagnosis, but does include symptoms such as disorientation, forgetfulness and depression. Exhausted and stressed caregivers work long hours with no end in sight, producing high levels of cortisol that can contribute to cognitive decline.

Utah researchers tracked more than 1200 couples over twelve years and found that seniors caring for a husband or wife with dementia had six times the risk of getting dementia-like symptoms as the general population.  Men were more susceptible, facing double the risk.

Fortunately, this condition is reversible.  Caregivers must be proactive in their mental and physical health to conquer caring for spouses or family members or they will endure embarrassing or scary moments due to stress, from forgetting what year it is to not remembering where you were driving.

Caregivers must take notice when alarm bells ring and they realize things are not right. There are many options from taking a daily break to hiring in-home care. Many caregivers cannot just stop taking care of their loved one, so it is important if you cannot afford outside care or an assisted living facility, to find other family members, neighbors or church members to give you an occasional break.  Caregiver dementia is real and only those that recognize the symptoms and take action will survive.


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