Sunday, July 20, 2008

Caregiver Stress Test

Here is something that the AMA put out (American Medical Assocation). After you've scored yourself, if you want to make changes in your life, read the earlier posts on stress, or send me an email.

Caregiver self-assessment questionnaire


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, continue scrolling down to do a self-evaluation.

Answer the following questions yes or no.

During the past week or so, I have ...

1. Had trouble keeping my mind on what I was doing?

2. Felt that I couldn’t leave my relative alone?

3. Had difficulty making decisions?

4. Felt completely overwhelmed?

5. Felt useful and needed?

6. Felt lonely?

7. Been upset that my relative has changed so much from his/her former self?

8. Felt a loss of privacy and/or personal time?

9. Been edgy or irritable?

10. Had sleep disturbed because of caring for my relative?

11. Had a cry spell(s)

12. Felt strained between work and family responsibilities?

13. Had back pain?

14. Felt ill (headaches, stomach problems or common cold)?

15. Been satisfied with the support my family has given me?

16. Found my relatives living situation to be inconvenient or a barrier to care?

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “not stressful” to 10 being “extremely stressful”
Please rate your current level of stress

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “very healthy” to 10 being “very ill”
Please rate your current health compared to what it was this time last year


To determine the score:

1. Reverse score questions 5 and 15.
(For example, a “No” response should be counted as “Yes” and a “Yes” response should be counted as “No.”)

2. Total the number of “yes” responses.

To interpret the score
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

Next steps

• Consider seeing a doctor for a check-up for yourself

• Consider having some relief from caregiving
(Discuss with the doctor or a social worker the resources available in your community.)

• Consider joining a support group

Valuable resources for caregivers

Eldercare Locator
(a national directory of community services)
(800) 677-1116

Family Caregiver Alliance
(415) 434-3388

Medicare Hotline
(800) 633-4227

National Alliance for Caregiving
(301) 718-8444

National Family Caregivers Association
(800) 896-3650

National Information Center for Children and
Youth with Disabilities
(800) 695-0285

1 comment:

  1. My name is Dr. Juan Grana, I own and operate a Medical Adult Day Care in NJ. We help a lot of caregivers by taking care of their family member while the caregiver works, shops, or takes care of their own kids or life. Anyone who is taking care of a family member needs respite from this stress. I encourage anyone who is reading this article or my post, to do a search in their local area for an Adult Day Care Center. Go visit it, speak to the administrator and ask for a half day free visit as a trial.
    Adult Day Care is a great resource, but woefully underused.
    If anyone has any questions about what makes a good adult day care center, please contact me and I would be very happy to discuss it with you and share any resources.
    Remember, there is help available, don't try to do it all yourself.
    Good Luck.
    Dr. Grana


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