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Is Caregiving a Burden?

tree-damaged-by-fall-snow-storm-600x400The research released Thursday by Pew Research Center has still been getting a lot of press coverage. It’s always interesting to read how the press describes what you do. Once in awhile, the word “burden” will be used; “caregiving burden” a reporter will write.

I’m curious how you feel about the word burden as it relates to caregiving. Do you feel burdened? Do you like to be able to use the word “burden” to describe how you feel but prefer that others don’t? Do certain tasks and responsibilities feel like a burden? Does the whole experience feel like it’s a burden? If you don’t feel burdened, why do you think that is?

Please share your thoughts and experiences in our comments section, below.

About Denise Brown

Avatar of Denise
I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues.


  1. Avatar of Chris

    A burden, to me, means something that I can’t handle physically. I don’t see caregiving as a burden, but maybe it’s because Mike and I have a support system in place that contain amazing people who help us out. Also, burden seems to carry negative connotations with it. That’s not to say that I don’t get tired or frustrated, but I am not burdened by it either.

  2. Avatar of Casandra

    Caregiving is definitely a heavy load but I wouldn’t call it a burden. When I think of a burden, I think of something that is negatively weighing me down. Yes, I am busy and I have lots to juggle but I never see the task of caring for my husband as a burden. It’s a necessity. I signed up for it when I married him, before I married him. It was a conscious decision that I don’t regret.

  3. Caregiving is hard when you don’t have a support system. My daughter was born with a lot of physical issues and now has developmental issues. It was and is hard but I had my husband during the most difficult times. Now my sole supporter, my husband, has had a stroke. I am devastated and feel lost and alone. No fsmily support and my friends seem to have their own issues. I don’t feel caregiving is a burden but I think I would feel much happier if I had support.

  4. Avatar of Maria

    Is caregiving a burden? While is full of responsibility and a hard job is not a burden. When I was caring for my Grandfather and Aunt I felt like I was given the highest honor of taking care of them. My Grandfather& I were very close and I spent alot of time with him & my Grandparents when I was a kid. I felt that by taking care of him when he needed my help I was repaying him for what he did for me.

  5. Avatar of ejourneys

    “Burden” is a huge baggage word for me because I grew up being reminded about how much of a burden I was. It’s something I never want to unleash on another person. In my worst moments I do battle with that inner voice that wants to perpetuate the hurt.

    When I am physically and emotionally drained and my partner is pushing all my buttons, that’s when I do battle with myself. The rest of the time, I don’t think in those terms. It’s hard, it’s frustrating, but it’s also liberating and a blessing. It’s real (including the part where I’m dealing with my partner’s delusions).

    I agree completely with @dian1122 — having support makes a world of difference. We are all in this together.

  6. Avatar of G-J

    A b├╝rden? No. A challenge? Yes. I’d even call it a growth opportunity because it has caused me to grow in ways I would not have had to otherwise, I’m sure. I have never thought of caregiving as a burden. When I read that reporters are using that term it makes me wonder who they interviewed or whether they are expressing an opinion.

  7. Avatar of

    Denise, Thanks for posting this as I was just battling these thoughts this week. I am back into the family caregiver role (this time helping my Father, who has been recently diagnosed with Stage 3 brain tumor). Unfortunately, there is very little support system in place, and majority of the responsibilities are mine, and with chemo coming up, the role is only going to increase. On top of that I still have to manage my family and try to maintain being a start-up, small business owner to Careigver Cards. In other words, A LOT! I am finding that if I say it is a BURDEN, then it’s time to step away, and take a break or revise my thoughts of being the appropriate caregiver to my Father. I think it is a responsibility and challenge that requires constant readjustment. Thanks again, for all of your insights and wonderful caregiver content. I will definitely pose this question on my blog as well. Have a blessed day everyone. God bless for becoming a caregiver and sticking with it. :)

  8. Avatar of Il

    Sometimes, sometimes not . . I was just about to say help! I’m in tears because my Dad is screaming at my Mom . . . it’s hard to say I probably should step away but how can I when I’m in my parents’ home???? I’m here and there is no way I can’t caregive in some way or another. Burden . . . I think I agree with EJ that I already beat myself up enough so if I use the word Burden it perpetuates the hurt I grew up with and hinders my ability to give. I guess the word caregive = give to me. And I, too, feel alone . . . alot . . . no support . . . so this site is amazing.


  9. Avatar of Sue

    I would say yes, its a burden, but it is a welcome burden – one we take on willingly and most often happily. But, it is a burden. It is a weight to carry though. I know that my husband and I often say that we hope that parents of healthy kids appreciate what they have, because it is hard.

    I also think that we need to own it. Otherwise, those who feel that burden feel bad about saying it is a burden. They feel guilty. They want to hide it and end up suffering more because of that hidden truth. So, I will say yes, it is a burden. One that we don’t shy away from carrying though. And with it comes some blessings as well…

  10. I have never considered taking care of my mother a burden. My love and devotion to her is why I do what I do. She is the first person I loved and depended on and I am helping her to stay in her home and not have to go to long term care where she would never be happy or survuve.

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