Caregivers Facing Mental Health Issues Including Suicide - Report

Family caregivers have to deal with a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and other health issues when forced into the role of being a caregiver. Avoid placing your family in this position by being proactive with planning before you retire.

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Caregivers Facing Mental Health Issues Including Suicide - Report
4 Min Read March 12th, 2021 Updated:February 15th, 2022

A national survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports on a growing mental health crisis facing America's family caregivers. As more family families face a loved one, often a parent or spouse, who requires long-term health care, family members face the unplanned role of being a caregiver. 

With the COVID-19 virus crisis adding additional pressure and anxiety on family caregivers, being a caregiver today is not easy.

The need for long-term health care services is increasing due to ongoing chronic illness, accidents, or the consequences of longevity. Many older loved ones need help with daily living activities and even supervision due to dementia. 

Since many families have not planned for the future costs and related burdens of long-term health care, a family crisis occurs. A family member, often a daughter or daughter-in-law, becomes the primary caregiver if limited funds or no Long-Term Care Insurance is available to pay for care.

Some Caregivers Have Suicidal Thoughts

The role of being a caregiver is mentally and physically exhausting. The CDC report says 32.9% of caregivers had reported substantial mental health difficulties like anxietydepression, or substance abuse compared to only 6.3% of non-caregivers.

The CDC study also found that 30.7% of these family caregivers of older adults experienced the highest rates of suicidal thoughts. This number is considerably higher than other high-risk groups like essential workers. 

The COVID-19 crisis has increased this stress as caregivers must be concerned about virus infection while providing care. This increased stress level added to the usual physical and emotional demands of being a caregiver is very hard on family caregivers.

Plus, many family caregivers attempt to juggle other responsibilities while providing care. Almost 61% of these family caregivers also work full time, not to mention their family responsibilities that don't go away when in a caregiver's role.

"We don't really know how many people go from suicide ideation onto suicide," said Rajeev Ramchand, senior consultant for epidemiology and suicide prevention at the National Institute of Mental Health, quoted by the AARP.

Ramchand says even thoughts about harming oneself suggest a significant level of despair and distress. He says this can be indicative of future a future suicide attempt.

Role of Family Caregiver Has Always Been Hard – Worse Now Due to COVID-19

"Caregiving is hard in the best of times. Everyone is aware of that. I think the compounding effect of the pandemic is making the job more physically, emotionally, and financially difficult," according to Heidi Donovan, co-director of the National Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Family Support at the University of Pittsburgh.

The CDC report shows that most unpaid family caregivers indicate they had little choice in becoming caregivers. Half of these family caregivers say they are very stressed.

When there is no plan and no Long-Term Care Insurance in place, the family goes into crisis mode. 

Paid Long-Term Care Services Adversely Effect Income and Assets

Paid professional care services are costly, and these costs are growing even faster due to COVID-19. The need for Long-Term Care Insurance has become even more significant. 

The total cost of care depends on where you live. The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future costs of the various types of long-term health care.

Experts say the best time to purchase an LTC Insurance policy is when you are younger and healthier, ideally in your 40s or 50s. Be careful, however, since premiums for these policies vary over 100% between insurance companies. 

Another problem some consumers run into is a lack of expertise. Very few insurance agents and financial advisors have the skills and knowledge to design an appropriate and affordable plan. Plus, they lack an understanding of underwriting rules and the Partnership Program available in most states.

Seek the assistance of a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist and be sure they represent the major insurance companies. Ask them how many insurance companies they work with and how many LTC policies they have sold. 

It is not how many years of experience a professional may have - it is the amount of real-life experience that is essential. Many specialists have over 500 clients; some have thousands.

You can find a trusted and experienced specialist by clicking here.

Take proactive action now to reduce the stress, burden, and anxiety on your family. Even a small Long-Term Care Insurance policy will reduce the pressure otherwise placed on those you love. Remember, when you own a policy, your loved ones will have the time to be family instead of being your caregiver. Most policies come with professional case management that helps your family when you need care.

The fact is long-term care is both a cash flow problem and a family problem. Give your family the time to be family and give yourself access to your choice of quality care either in-home or in a facility. You will safeguard your assets and enjoy peace of mind.

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About the Author

Linda is a former journalist who now enjoys writing about topics she is interested in so she “can keep her mind active and engaged”.

LTC News Contributor Linda Maxwell

Linda Maxwell

Contributor since December 11th, 2017

Editor's Note

Preparing for the challenges that come with getting older should be an essential part of your overall retirement plan. The costs and burdens of aging create dependency on family members and adversely impact your income, assets, lifestyle, and legacy.

Today, you can select from one of many different options to safeguard your income and assets and ensure you never put your family into a caregiver's role. 

There are several types of Long-Term Care Insurance policies. These policies are, for most people, affordable. A specialist can navigate the many options based on your age, health, and family history.

Use LTC NEWS to Help in Your Research

You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis. 

To help you plan the costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Seek Professional Guidance

Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, insurance companies' premiums vary over 100% for the same coverage.

Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family.

A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Finding Quality Care for Mom or Dad

Start by reading our four guides -  

If they are lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea. 

Get Help in Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim

Quality care obtained early will help provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a deep decline and facility care. If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help.

LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work, free with no obligation. 

You can also get support in finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News

Benefits of Reverse Mortgages 

Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.  

Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement. 

Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages. 

- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

Share Your Knowledge - Be A Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS 

LTC NEWS is open to contributors to share their stories with the world. 

You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.

Be sure to write for our core target audience of adults aged 40 and older. Our audience is worldwide; however, our primary target is the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking nations. 

Improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS. 

You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. However, it must have editorial content exclusive to LTC NEWS and not just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

Email your story idea or article: newsroom@ltcnews.com - LTC News Contributors | LTC News

Your Marketing and Advertising Partner – LTC NEWS

Use LTC NEWS to drive traffic to your website and help you attract people interested in your products and services. Plus, you can improve your website's SEO so more consumers can find you when they search for your products and services.

There are various marketing options available with LTC NEWS. Traditional advertising, sponsored content articles, strategic alliances, and more are available. 

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

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LTC NEWS offers a 'helpful links' page so readers looking for additional information can find them easily. You can get a dofollow link to your website on LTC NEWS in exchange for a dofollow link on your site.

Let's work together and help consumers who search for us on the web - Site Request | LTC News.

You can also affordably purchase a dofollow link to your website or blog on LTC NEWS. Just contact the advertising department.

Sharing News with LTC NEWS 

Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email - newsroom@ltcnews.com  

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