A MSW (Institute of Mental Health)
& Rotary Club of Northam Initiative

About Caregivers' Stress

Coping with Caregivers' Stress

Caregivers' Self-Care


Coping with Caregivers’ Stress

Ways to Cope

  • Keep track of your stress levels
  • Find out why you are upset. Focus on your thinking and perception of the situation rather than on other people’s behaviours
  • Find new and effective ways of coping with your negative feelings
  • Make time to de-stress, for example, participate in new activities
  • Share your concerns and feelings with supportive friends or family members

What you can do for yourself …

Do More of These

  • Be frank/open about your feelings and encourage other family members to do the same.
  • Avoid making your loved one the centre of your family or your life.
  • Maintain focus on living and enjoying your own life.

Do Less of These:

  • Thinking that you are totally responsible for your loved one’s welfare.
  • Pretending that the illness has not affected your family or you.
  • Controlling your loved one’s behavior
  • Trying to solve all of your loved one’s problems.

Whom and Where Can You Seek Help From?
People are usually capable of managing their stress and emotional frustrations successfully on their own, with support from close friends and family members. However, if you would like to obtain confidential advice about any difficulties, you can contact your medical social worker or local Family Service Centre (FSC). If unsure, you may ask your family doctor for a referral. Alternatively, you may use one of several free counselling hotline services as listed under the “Useful Links and Resources” page on this website.

Caregivers’ Stress Check-List
Let’s check your stress levels… Please tick the response that is most true for you and add up the points.

1 Feeling more irritable than usual?
2 Feeling more unhappy or resentful about looking after your loved one?
3 Having less energy to complete usual tasks?
4 Less interest in attending or participating in social events?    
5 Experiencing less enjoyment from your favourite activities?    
6 Getting angry very quickly?
7 Feeling tired most of the time?    
8 Spending less time on yourself as compared to before?    
9 Less motivated to get up in the mornings?    

* If you score more than 5 points, you are likely to be feeling more stressed than usual. Should these feelings persist, seek advice from your family doctor or the mental health professionals involved in the care of your loved one.