The first objective in dealing with caregiver stress is to recognize that it exists. Often when you are in the middle of a slowly deteriorating health situation it is difficult to recognize your own fatigue. With the build-up of fatigue come feelings of being overwhelmed or paralyzed. Decisions become difficult to make. Thus identifying your stress points and levels of stress is an important first step to untying the paralyzing knots of stress.
One test that is easy to use in the stress identification process is the Kingston Scales Caregiver Stress test. This test can be used to establish a baseline and then to determine if there is a change in stress levels for the caregiver. It can be a self-administered test or can form the framework for a discussion with the primary caregiver. The Caregiver Stress test is an excellent tool with which to measure change. Knowing that you are feeling more stress is a good first step to getting the help and support you need to reduce the events that are causing the stress.