How are YOU?
Caregivers are often so concerned with caring for their relative’s needs that they lose sight of their own well-being. Please take just a moment to answer the following questions. Once you have answered the questions, go to the bottom of the page to do a self-evaluation.
During the past week or so, I have …
- Had trouble keeping my mind on what I was doing?
- Felt that I couldn’t leave my relative alone?
- Had difficulty making decisions?
- Felt completely overwhelmed?
- Felt useful and needed?
- Felt lonely?
- Been upset that my relative has changed so much from his/her former self?
- Felt a loss of privacy and/or personal time?
- Been edgy or irritable?
- Had sleep disturbed because of caring for my relative?
- Had a crying spell(s)?
- Felt strained between work and family responsibilities?
- Had back pain?
- Felt ill (headaches, stomach problems or common cold)?
- Been satisfied with the support my family has given me?
- Found my relative’s living situation to be inconvenient or a barrier to care?
- Please rate your current level of stress, with 1 being “not stressful” to 10 being “extremely stressful”.
- Please rate your current health compared to what it was this time last year, with 1 being “very healthy” to 10 being “very ill”.
To determine your score
Count up all your “Yes” responses EXCEPT do not count # 5 or 15 yet.
Now, look at Questions #5 and 15. If you responded “Yes” to these questions, do NOT count these with your “Yes” count. If you responded “No” to either or both questions, add these to your “Yes” count. (For example, if you had 4 “Yes” answers on the rest of the questions, and you answered “No” to question #5 and “No” to question #15, your total score would be 6.)
To interpret your response
Chances are that you are experiencing a high degree of distress:
If you answered “Yes” to either or both questions 4 and 11; or
If your total “Yes” score = 10 or more; or
If your score on question 17 is 6 or higher; or if your score on question 18 is 6 or higher
If you are having a high degree of distress:
Consider seeing a doctor for a check-up for yourself
Look for some relief from care giving. Ask for help.
Consider joining a support group for caregivers.
If your distress level is low:
It isn’t unusual for caregivers to have some of these problems for a short time. But they may mean that you’re at risk for higher levels of distress. When caregivers don’t attend to their own needs and allow other pressures to take over, they may lose the ability to continue to care for their loved one. Part of caring for someone else is caring for yourself.
Source: American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved