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Published October 31. 2011 05:02PM

More than 14.9 million caregivers annually provide unpaid care for the estimated 5.4 million people with Alzheimer's disease.

Those caregivers are prone to high levels of frustration, burnout and stress factors that can take a heavy emotional and physical toll without adequate support. Here are eight common warning signs of caregiver burnout.

• You have much less energy than you used to

• It seems like you catch every cold or flu that's going around

• You're constantly exhausted, even after sleeping or taking a break

• You neglect your own needs, either because you're too busy or you don't care anymore

• Your life revolves around caregiving, but it gives you little satisfaction

• You have trouble relaxing, even when help is available

• You're increasingly impatient and irritable with the person you're caring for

• You feel overwhelmed, helpless, and hopeless

For caregivers in and around Carbon County, there is help.

A free Alzheimer's Support Group will meet at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at St. John's Lutheran Church, 319 South Ave., Jim Thorpe.

The group will share ideas and tips to help caregivers cope with the day-to-day stress of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia.

For more information, contact Pat at (610) 392-2380 or

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