Poll: Caregiving Brings Emotional, Financial Stress

Posted on 03/31/24 by The AARP Bulletin

Nearly three-quarters of Vermont caregivers say they’ve experienced emotional stress from their responsibilities, and more than one-third say they’ve faced financial strain, according to a new AARP poll.

The survey found that 72 percent of current and former caregivers feel stressed from trying to balance their full- or part-time jobs with caregiving. About one-third feel lonely or isolated, and many struggle to get enough rest, exercise regularly or keep up with their household tasks.

In addition, many caregivers say they spend their own money to help their care recipient. Among the top expenses Vermonters cited: transportation, modifications of their or their loved one’s home, and medical equipment such as a wheelchair or hearing devices.

“Caregiving demands can lead to years of challenges, and those things can include job loss or missed raises,” says Greg Marchildon, AARP Vermont’s state director. “It can have mental health, financial and physical health tolls on you because of the level of stress and uncertainty.”

The survey comes as AARP is pushing for a paid family and medical leave bill in Montpelier. The legislation—which would allow eligible public- and private-sector workers to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave for a serious health condition or to care for a family member with a serious health condition—is now pending in the legislature.

The caregivers surveyed were most likely to be caring for a parent, and nearly 40 percent have experience caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another cognitive illness.

The poll surveyed 1,002 registered Vermont voters 40 and over in November 2023. Of those, 37 percent said they currently were or had been a family caregiver. To learn more, visit aarp.org/VTpaidleave.

—Michelle Cerulli McAdams

This story is provided by AARP Vermont. Visit the AARP Vermont page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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