A chronic condition is a problem that lasts for a long time or one that will never go away, such as Parkinson’s disease, AIDS, cancer, or Alzheimer’s disease. With the growing aging population, many more people will be touched by chronic condition. Many more will need assistance with routine aspects of everyday life.
The responsibilities of caregiving, added to the routine pressures of maintaining a family and professional life, can naturally lead to stress. Stress, in turn, creates a ripple effect on the health and well-being of not only the caregiver, but everyone from family members to friends and co-workers.
Living with a chronic condition—and caring for a person with a chronic condition—can lead to physical and emotional stress. The symptoms of this stress may look similar in both the person dealing with the condition and the caregiver. The symptoms include:
- Anger, sometimes leading to physical violence
- Dissatisfaction with life
- Stress-related physical conditions
For the person with the chronic condition, the level and type of stress may vary depending on the specific illness and its prognosis. Common causes of physical and emotional stress include: