Taking care of a loved one who has dementia, physical disabilities or other age-related conditions makes demands on your time, energy and emotions. More than half of caregivers told AARP that caregiving increased their level of stress, worry and anxiety as well as making them concerned for the future.
You may find you have less patience and more fatigue, along with feelings of frustration and guilt. The daily act of caregiving can become a grueling grind, taxing your mind and body and leading you to caregiver burnout.
Impact of caregiving
The effects on physical and mental health are well documented:
- In a 2023 report, AARP found that 40 percent of all caregivers cite the emotional stress of juggling caregiving and working as their biggest challenge.
- More than half of caregivers find that caregiving makes it hard to take care of their own mental health in AARP’s 2023 “A Look at Caregivers’ Mental Health” report.
- According to the same report, nearly 4 in 10 caregivers say they never or rarely relax. And 40 percent say caregiving makes them feel alone.
- Half of caregivers had suicidal ideation during the pandemic, nearly a quarter said their own health has worsened, and 14 percent say they have frequent mental distress according to a 2023 report on caregiver burnout by Seniorly.