What Are the Signs of Substance Abuse in Caregivers?

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Recognizing & Managing Substance Abuse in Caregivers in Anchorage, AK

Caregiving can be an emotionally, mentally, and physically challenging job, and it could make family caregivers susceptible to substance abuse. It is important to learn about the signs of substance abuse in caregivers and how to solve this issue.

Resentment & Reduced Inhibitions

If you notice a family member becoming jealous of you and your life, he or she may be in the early stages of resentment. The caregiver might feel you are living a fabulous, carefree life while he or she is stuck at home caring for your parents. The substances become a way for the caregiver to escape and engage in risky behavior.

Make sure family caregivers have time to relax, hang out with their friends, or just regroup and recharge. Remind caregivers to continue living life and achieving goals while assuring them that your family will always be there. This can prevent them from turning to substances.

Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Anchorage, AK, home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Behavioral Changes

Changes in behavior among family caregivers could be a sign of substance abuse. If the caregiver was once happy and smiling but has been angry and irritated lately, do not assume everything will return to normal. Take this as a sign of substance abuse and consider professional help for the family caregiver. Once the caregiver is okay, hire in-home respite care to take some of the load off. Too much work and not enough personal time can cause a family caregiver to break down and turn to substance abuse.

There are a variety of reasons family caregivers should consider respite care. Anchorage, AK, families often have additional responsibilities that make it more challenging to provide the care their senior loved ones need and deserve. A professional respite caregiver can take over your important caregiving duties, allowing you more time to focus on yourself.  

Neglected Appearance

Family caregivers should pay special attention to their grooming. If you notice a family caregiver has a lack of interest in clothing and appearance, this could be a sign of substance abuse. To prevent this from happening, take the caregiver on shopping trips, gift him or her with spa certificates, and encourage him or her to take care of personal hygiene. Remind the family caregiver he or she needs to remain in good health and spirits to provide adequate care for your loved one.


Another common sign of substance abuse in caregivers is isolation. They will begin to hide from other family members out of embarrassment and guilt. If a family caregiver goes to his or her room during a family gathering, he or she might be using substances.

When you first notice a family caregiver pulling away from everyone, reach out to him or her and offer some type of assistance or motivation. This can prevent the caregiver from turning to substances. If the caregiver is already abusing substances, he or she may need medical assistance and counseling to manage the emotional, physical, and mental challenges associated with caregiving.

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in home care. Anchorage, AK, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. If you need a break from your caregiving duties, call us at (907) 770-0907 today.


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