Caregivers are subject to unique sources of stress that have increased in frequency and magnitude during the COVID-19 pandemic. Caregivers encounter some of the same stressors—such as poor mental and physical health—and also encounter their own sets of challenges.
Caregivers who take care of family members are at risk for anticipatory grief, feelings of isolation, and developing physical ailments like chronic illnesses. Unpaid caregivers may experience extreme financial stress, and are often forced to choose between the needs of healthy and sick family members, and can lack support systems of their own. Paid caregivers may not necessarily encounter the same financial stressors as unpaid caregivers, but caregiving is generally detrimental to health. 17% of caregivers feel that their health has worsened as a result of their caregiving responsibilities, and 40-70% of caregivers report clinically-significant symptoms of depression.
Our work with caregivers
Mind-body medicine has been shown to help reduce stress and burnout in hospitals and healthcare systems, and reduce stress levels among first responders. Our research, published in peer-reviewed journals, demonstrated a reported decrease in burnout, secondary traumatic stress, anxiety, perceived stress, personal distress, stress hormone levels, and feelings of hopelessness among healthcare workers.