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The Pandemic’s Impact on Family Caregivers

The pandemic has taken a big toll on family caregivers, which puts them at even greater risk of burnout. It has caused increased demands on their time, energy and finances, and these pressures are expected to continue well into 2021.

The Carer Well-Being Index, a global research study, surveyed unpaid caregivers in the fall of 2020 about the impact COVID-19 has had on them. Respondents included 750 caregivers in the U.S. who care for someone with a long-term illness, physical disability, or cognitive/mental condition, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

The survey’s main findings were:

Rising Demands

Younger generations and parents have stepped into the caregiver role for the first time because of COVID-19. The average hours spent on caregiving per week has increased 7-8 hours. Forty-five percent say their care recipient is relying on them more than ever before and 65% say the pandemic has made caregiving harder.

Changed Responsibilities

A caregiver’s top responsibility during uncertain and trying times is providing emotional support and this is higher among female caregivers (80%) than male caregivers (70%).  Ninety-one percent say they have put the needs of their care recipient above their own during the pandemic. The other top responsibility has been for caregivers to master telehealth and technology usage for medical appointments. Over 50% say they need additional training on how to use online tools, mobile apps, and telehealth for caregiving.

Inequities in Caregiving

While all caregivers experience challenges, women, racially diverse, and ethnic minority caregivers face disproportionate hurdles. They encounter larger economic burdens and report receiving less support from organizations and institutions.

CAREGIVERS: AFC SEES AND HEARS YOU!

AFC’s mission has not changed since the pandemic began. We offer services for people with memory loss as well as their families.  Our Center Without Walls offers an array of services that may benefit caregivers, delivered by phone and Zoom.

If you’re feeling alone, stressed and/or burdened, click here to learn more about our free caregiver counseling program. Please don’t get to the point of caregiver burnout because who will care for your loved one if you’re exhausted mentally, physically, or spiritually?  Call us today at 714-593-9630.

Click here to read the complete Carer Well-Being Index.

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

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