Stimulus and Stress
This chapter addresses the importance of stress and coping in caring for older people with dementia. It maintains that stress is a normal phenomenon in our lives and that stress is useful and necessary for everyday functioning. On the other hand, it also emphasises that too much stress becomes distress and that distress can arise when copping skills are not effective. Coping strategies require intact memory and cognition to solve problems and recall effective past strategies.
Dementia alters cognition and memory. Therefore, the potential to cope is reduced. Families and friends are important and essential sources of information for caregivers to learn about the patterns of stress response of the older person and observation by caregivers will enable a better understanding of the patterns of stress response of the older person with dementia. Care planning should consider the stress-response patterns of the person receiving care.
- When stress becomes distress
- The optimal stimulus level
- How do we show we are stressed?
- Coping mechanisms for stress
- Older people and coping
- Stress in older people with dementia
- Caregivers' reactions to stress-related behaviour in dementia
- Caregiver understanding of behaviour