Caregiver Stress

Caregiver Stress

Dr. Richard A. Wyckoff & Associates

Can Anyone Help?

Most people never contemplate becoming a caregiver for an adult. But as our parents or spouses develop dementia or other disabling conditions, we are called into service.

For most of us the realization of the magnitude of the commitment evolves over time. It may take a long time just to get a definitive diagnosis, let alone to learn what the condition means and what treatment is needed. And, of course, throughout it all there is the denial, grief, frustration, anger and despair to deal with.

Now add the fact that the disabled loved one is not our only concern. Caregiving responsibility is often assumed unequally by family members, magnifying the stress and overload. Further, many caregivers are not only caring for an adult dependent – they’re caring for children and maintaining a career at the same time. They may feel as if they are living in a vise that is squeezing them from all directions. When our loved one’s personality and behavior start to change, we face more challenges. The problems of sleep disturbance, eating, toileting, wandering and hallucinations are issues most of us never learned to address. And the more serious problems of aggressive or unsafe behavior are frightening and confusing.

If this sounds like you, you may wonder if you will survive caregiving or collapse and need care yourself. And sometimes you will indeed need help. Getting the support you need can be daunting. What can you do when you don’t know where to turn.

One place to turn is Dr. Richard Wyckoff and Associates. Dr. Wyckoff is a psychologist who has the training and professional experience to help you and your loved one at each step along the way.

A Personal Message 

Dr. Richard A. Wyckoff

Hello. I’m Dr. Richard Wyckoff. I came to specialize in caregiver stress and geriatric medicine through my own personal experience.

Until the mid 1980s I enjoyed a successful practice in behavior medicine, specializing in treating stress related diseases, chronic pain and general psychology. I was married with children, and my mother was my bookkeeper.

Then one day my mother began to act strangely. I confess that I did not immediately recognize that she was developing dementia. But soon I had to accept that her life, and ours, would change forever. We cared for mom at home for fourteen years, the last half of which required total bodily care, until she passed away.

Through the experience, I felt a “calling” to learn more about dementia and geriatric care. Ultimately, I changed the entire course and substance of my practice to focus on geriatric care and nursing home practice. In the mid 1990s I was offered grant funding to develop a non-pharmaceutical behavior management training program for Pennsylvania nursing homes. My wife and I subsequently traveled throughout Pennsylvania for six years, consulting, training and writing books and newsletters on dementia care.

When the state funding ran out we relocated from Pennsylvania to Washington to be closer to some of our children and grandchildren. I established a practice in Washington and continue my interest in adult and geriatric behavioral medicine.

I am telling you this story because I believe that too few professionals truly understand the ravages of dementia and caregiver stress. I also know that you will not care what I know until you know why I care.

Professional Services

◊ Diagnostic Services – Understand what is happening to you and your loved one(s)

◊ Preservative Care – How to help your loved one maintain a sense of personal identity longer into the dementia process

◊ Behavior Management – Non-pharmacologic strategies for dealing with dysfunctional behaviors in dementia

◊ Psychotherapy – Support through the stress of catastrophic disease and caregiving

◊ Stress Management – Coping with the stress of caregiving

◊ Biofeedback – Peripheral and neurofeedback for reducing the wear and tear on your body and mind

◊ Family Therapy – Help for the entire family

Caregiver Groups – Giving and accepting support throughout the process

◊ Cognitive Rehabilitation – Compensation strategies and cognitive re-education

◊ Advocacy and Referral

What About Insurance?

The cost of our services is generally covered in full by Medicare and a supplemental policy. Some Medicare HMO’s require preauthorization. We are participating providers for Medicare, Premera, Regence and many other insurance companies. As you know, there are too many variables in coverage to describe here. We will help you find out about your coverage, and we are happy to bill your insurance for you.

How Can I Learn More?

Go to our websites:,, or

Or call us. We are always happy to answer your questions during a FREE initial telephone inquiry. Call our office today to schedule a phone call with Dr. Wyckoff.