A new study shows family caregivers in Hawaii are the No. 9 most burned out in the nation. A record 53 million Americans provide an estimated $600 billion annually in unpaid family caregiving, and it is taking an enormous toll on their financial, physical, and mental health.
The burden falls on America’s ‘Sandwich Generation’ with an unprecedented 54% of parents in their 40’s caring for aging parents and financially supporting adult children. With long-term care facilities facing a historic staffing shortage, the demand placed on this invisible army of healthcare workers is likely to increase in some areas worse than others.
Seniorly today released a study on the States Most Impacted by Caregiver Burnout using the most recent data from the Census Bureau, CDC, Alzheimer’s Association and the Health Resources and Services Administration.
Multiple factors were analyzed such as multigenerational households, Alzheimer’s disease, long-term care workers, age dependency ratio, and health issues reported by caregivers.
A few metrics that led to Hawaii’s ranking show 34.5% of caregivers report having two chronic health conditions and 13% are mentally distressed. Alzheimer’s is expected to increase by 20.7% by 2025 and 8.2% of homes are multigenerational.
The top 10 states for caregiver burnout are Florida, Arizona, South Carolina, Georgia, Delaware, Texas, Tennessee, Idaho, Hawaii, and Louisiana. Notably, six of the top 10 are southern states.
Additional Key Findings:
- Out-of-Pocket Costs: $7,424 is spent annually, more than 10% of household income.
- Health Issues: 23% of caregivers say their own health has declined, 85% report mental distress, and during the pandemic 50% had serious suicidal ideation.
- Women are Disproportionally Impacted: 61% of caregivers are women, 75% of women aged 45-54 work, and a mother’s lifetime earnings will decrease 15% due to caregiving.
3 Tips to Prevent or Manage Caregiver Burnout:
- Do Not Do It Alone, Prioritize Self-Care: Reach out to family members and friends to help with tasks. Get sleep, eat nutritious meals, exercise regularly, and engage in activities that you enjoy.
- Use Outside Services: Research respite care services, adult day programs, caregiver training programs, and assistive technologies.
- Use Caregiving Apps: Caregiving apps are great to organize medical documents, insurance details, and important paperwork for easy access during emergencies.