The October 2023 installment of National Alliance for Caregiving’s Social Innovations Spotlight Series explores the mental health impacts of family caregiving and policy opportunities to increase mental supports for the caregiver community. Caring for the Carers: A Spotlight Brief for Supporting the Mental Health of Family Caregivers outlines recommendations to elevate the mental health of family caregivers, increase dialogue, and advance policies that can address the negative mental health impacts family caregivers too often face.
There are over 53 million family caregivers in the United States, many who experience mental health challenges. Despite this, their mental health needs are not often recognized or given attention. Findings from the report include:
- Four in 10 caregivers experience high emotional strain.
- Emotional or mental health issues are more often reported by those who care for someone 50 years of age or older; serve as a primary caregiver or partner; and care for someone with a long-term physical condition.
- Almost three quarters (74%) of caregivers feel alone.
- Levels of emotional distress vary:
- Asian Americans (41.9%)
- African Americans (30.5%)
- Latinos (27.6%)
- Women report experiencing higher stress compared to men.
The Public Health Center for Dementia Caregiving is housed at the University of Minnesota and assists State, Tribal and Local Health Departments to collect, disseminate, and create effective tools and measures for public health agencies to implement actions related to dementia caregiving.