Caregiver Mental Health
Caregiver Mental Health
Mental health is an important metric to gauge when preparing yourself for the day. Although caregiving is often talked about as an activity you perform for someone else, at the end of the day, you come first. Your ability to stay strong, informed, and sane are just as important as knowing how to change a dressing and prepare a meal. We asked our community how caregiving affects their mental health and wellbeing. Here's what we found:
Caregiver mental health survey fast facts
- 54 percent of all caregivers rated their mental health as fair or poor.
- Only three percent of all caregivers surveyed rated their mental health as excellent.
- 71 percent of caregivers felt that, in the four weeks prior to taking our survey, mental health issues interfered with work, caregiving, and other regular activities.
- 75 percent of all caregivers reported feeling anxiety about the future.
What does this mean?
The mind of a caregiver is often filled with what-ifs, plan Bs, and other worst-case scenarios. The present may be filled with triaging bills, prescriptions, and making impossible sacrifices and choices. And when it comes to thinking about the future, there are countless considerations to make with no easy answers, such as your ability to continue to provide care for an aging parent, child, spouse, or friend. While caregivers work, if their mental health isn’t replenished, their performance and hours worked can be affected. Caregivers work to attain a secure financial future for themselves and their loved ones, but they need the bandwidth to emotionally care for that person/people as well.
Caregiving demands a lot from those who perform it, and it’s often invisible and unseen. Your mental health is essential. For yourself, for others, for your body. It takes a lot of time and energy to ground yourself spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Visit our personal wellness page for tips on protecting and nurturing your emotional wellbeing.
Here are some articles to help your mental health today:
- Protecting Your Mental Health When Caring for a Spouse or Partner
- Tips for Preventing Caregiver Burnout and Managing Stress
- 4 Tips for Caregivers to Promote Mental and Emotional Health
Actual Survey Data
Overall, how would you rate your mental health?
•62/152 felt their mental health was fair (40%)
•22/152 felt their mental health was poor (14%)
•46/152 felt their mental health was good (30%)
•17/152 felt their mental health was very good (11%)
•5/152 felt their mental health was excellent (3%)
During the past 4 weeks, has your mental health interfered with your work, caregiving, or other regular activities?
•108/152 felt that in the past 4 weeks, their mental health has interfered with work, caregiving, and other regular activities (71%)
•27/152 felt that in the past 4 weeks, their mental health hasn’t interfered with work, caregiving, and other regular activities (18%)
•17/152 felt that in the past 4 weeks, they don’t know if their mental health has interfered with work, caregiving, and other regular activities (11%)
Please check any symptoms that you may have experienced in the past 4 weeks:
•106/152 felt anxiety about the future (69%)
•100/152 felt depression or mood swings (65%)
•67/152 felt withdrawal from friends, family, and other loved ones (44%)
•59/152 felt changes in appetite, weight, or both (38%)
•130/152 felt emotional and physical exhaustion (85%)
•81/152 felt changes in sleep patterns. (53%)
•67/152 felt headaches, stomaches, and other physical problems (44%)
•87/152 felt becoming unusually impatient, irritable, or argumentative with the person you’re caring for and/or with others (57%)
•13/152 felt feelings of wanting to hurt themselves or the person whom they are caring (8%)
•7/152 have not experienced any of these symptoms in the past 4 weeks (4%)
Did you ask for help with caregiving when you need it?
•69/162 ask for help with caregiving when needed (42%)
•65/162 don’t ask for help with caregiving when needed (40%)
•7/162 don’t ask for help since they are not a caregiver at this time (4%)
•11/162 don’t know if they ask for help with caregiving when needed (6%)
Please check any strategies that you used in the past 4 weeks to take care of your mental health:
•48/162 ask for/accept help as a strategy to take care of mental health (29%)
•34/162 join a virtual or in person support group as a strategy to take care of mental health (20%)
•22/162 use local resources as a strategy to take care of mental health (13%)
•45/162 set personal health goals as a strategy to take care of mental health (27%)
•57/162 spend time with friends/and or family as a strategy to take care of mental health (35%)
•29/162 go to the doctor as a strategy to take care of mental health (17%)
•30/162 see a counselor as a strategy to take care of mental health (18%)
•28/162 use none of the strategies above to take care of mental health (17%)
•15/162 use other strategies to take care of mental health (9%)
This research was conducted by Caregiving.com. Data for this survey was collected May 1-31, 2021, and respondents included 152 family and professional caregivers.
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