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Stress High for Alzheimer’s Caregivers Amid Coronavirus Pandemic


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Stressed2.jpgOur partner, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s A-LIST®, an online community for those with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers, recently conducted a survey and follow up survey that focused on the dramatic impact COVID-19 has had on caregivers of individuals with this disease.

In sharing these results, Home Instead Senior Care Gerontologist and Caregiver Advocate Lakelyn Hogan, noted: “It was no surprise to me, nor to those who care for someone with a dementia illness, I’m sure, that stress is at an all-time high.”

Among the findings of the survey, conducted in the United States March 25-30, 2020: 82 percent of caregivers say their stress is higher now because of the coronavirus. Additionally, the survey revealed:

  • 37 percent said the shelter-in-place for their family was creating additional tension about keeping the loved one at home, and 24 percent said it was hard for them or another family member to be close to a loved one with Alzheimer’s 24 hours a day.
  • 31 percent of caregivers say they are getting less information than they need to provide care and support to a loved one, with 64 percent getting the information they need.

Nearly three-quarters of those who are taking care of people with Alzheimer’s disease at home are unsure what would happen to their loved one if the caregiver got sick with the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to the survey.

In addition to the 71 percent of caregivers unsure of what would happen if they became infected, 33 percent said they were unsure what to do if their loved one with Alzheimer’s becomes sick. The survey also found that coronavirus restrictions at assisted living facilities have meant that many family members are unable to see or assess the health status of their loved one.

A smaller set of survey respondents who have loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia in assisted living facilities have higher stress because of visitation restrictions at the facilities.

  • 74 percent are unable to see their loved one because of virus-related visitation restrictions.
  • 75 percent say their stress levels are significantly higher.
  • 67 percent say they are unable to assess the health status of their loved one.
  • 35 percent are less confident about the level of care for their loved one.
  • On the other hand, 33 percent say they are more confident about care of their loved one and 37 percent are relieved because they do not believe they could have managed the care for their loved one at home.

“What challenging times we are experiencing,” Hogan said. “But there are resources and help available to those who are trying to manage the care of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. Home Instead Senior Care offices are open for business throughout the United States ready and willing to assist seniors in their homes.”

COVID-19 and Caregiving Resources

“Take each day as it comes and remember to reach out for help if stress starts to wear down your physical health and mental peace,” Hogan said. “Remember, many faith communities as well as counselors are offering online support and consultations for families in crisis.”

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