Resource Guide for Family Caregivers
Checking in

The caregiving experience can be insidious and involve many challenges. For this reason, it is very important for you the caregiver, to make time each day to think about how you are feeling and coping. One of the most common issues is learning to regularly check-in on how you are feeling on all levels: physically, emotionally and mentally, especially when responsibilities become overwhelming, new or confusing. Tools like the following Caregiver Stress Test can help you to self-identify how you are coping and handling the accumulating stresses from your caregiving responsibilities.

Caregiver Stress Test

The following test will help you become aware of your feelings and the pressures and stress you currently feel.
 I find I can't get enough rest.
 I don't have enough time for myself.
 I don't have enough time for family members besides the one I care for.
 I feel guilty about my situation.
 I don't get out much anymore.
 I have conflict with the person I care for.
 I have conflicts with other family members.
 I cry every day.
 I worry about having enough money to make ends meet.
 I don't have knowledge or experience to give care as well as I would like to.
 My own health is not good.

If your response to 2 or more of these questions is "Usually" or "Often" it may well be time to begin looking for help with caring for the care receiver as well as help in taking care of yourself.

Source: Robert S. Stall, M.D. (2002) Caregivers Handbook Buffalo, New York: Author