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Why Caregiver Counseling Is So Important

Written by CircleOf Staff
June 08, 2023
Why Caregiver Counseling Is So Important
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Caregiver burnout isn’t something to sweep under the rug — it’s a very real issue that’s affecting a growing number of caregivers every day. Because the fact is, caregiving is stressful (even when it’s rewarding, too).

Between coordinating, scheduling, grocery shopping, housework, financial tasks, and medication management, many caregivers feel they have little left for family, personal hobbies, work, and everything else that goes on in their lives. Unsurprisingly, this can lead to burnout, stress, depression, anxiety, and more.

But there’s good news: caregiver counseling can be a huge relief to overwhelmed caregivers. In this article, we’ll talk about the signs of caregiver stress and the importance of caregiver counseling. Then we’ll share several affordable caregiver counseling options that can help you (and the person you care for) work through tough times.

Signs of Caregiver Stress

Caregiving is a demanding gig, and it’s common for many aspects of the job to lead to stress.

What Are the Two Common Stresses As a Caregiver?

Generally, caregiver burnout is a result of the emotional demands of caring for someone whose health may not improve, and from the difficulty balancing personal needs, family needs, work demands, and more.Burnout can also be caused by ambiguity in caregiver duties, an overwhelming workload, conflicting procedures, and a lack of privacy.

What Are Three Signs of Caregiver Stress?

Caregiver stress manifests itself in lots of different ways. Some that are easy to spot, and others that are a little more discreet.Maybe you’re feeling burned out and overwhelmed. Maybe you experience growing resentment or distance between you and the person you care for. Or maybe you even develop new physical aches and pains, like headaches, panic attacks, or back pain.

Here are the top three signs of caregiver stress:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Anger and frustration
  • Physical exhaustion

Other Signs of Caregiver Stress

Caregivers can also experience fear, feelings of grief and sadness, or guilt about the things they’re neglecting in life, or about the level of care they’re able to provide.

Some other common signs of caregiver burnout include:

  • Appetite changes (eating too little or too much)
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Anger outbursts
  • Physical or emotional abuse
  • Changes to sleep habits (sleeping too little or too much)
  • Neglect of person you’re caring for
  • Lack of excitement for life
  • Abuse of medications, alcohol, or sleeping pills

Why Caregiver Counseling Is Necessary

While 7.8% of American adults have experienced a depressive episode, the rate of depression among caregivers is 20% — more than twice the national average. Caregivers who help someone with dementia are even more likely to develop depression, with one study finding that 34% of caregivers for Alzheimer’s patients suffered from depression. 

Not only that, but older caregivers (ages 66 to 96) have a 63% higher mortality rate than non-caregivers of the same age — meaning stress is literally taking years off the lives of caregivers.

This is why caregiver counseling is so critical. In a time when so many caregivers are battling mental health challenges, counseling offers much-needed tools to help them manage stress, problem-solve, balance tasks, and process emotions.

Caregiver therapy also helps reduce or prevent the struggles many caregivers face, like burnout, health problems, depression, anxiety, guilt, and more.

What Caregiver Counseling Options Are Available?

No matter what you’re struggling with, there’s a form of caregiver counseling that can help. Caregivers can meet individually, in a group setting, with a fellow caregiver, or as a family to find healing and relief from stress and burnout.

Burned-out caregivers can also hire out respite care to give themselves a mental health break, or use mindfulness and meditation tools like HeadSpace to help manage stress and anxiety. Check out HeadSpace for a free trial today, or get help at home with so you know you’ll have time in your day to regroup and take care of yourself.

Here are some of the most common forms of caregiver counseling.

Individual Therapy

For caregivers looking for one-on-one counseling, individual therapy may be the best option. With this approach, caregivers meet regularly with a certified therapist, psychologist, or counselor to process emotions, identify triggers, and minimize reactivity.

Caregiver Family Therapy

This type of therapy is ideal for families looking for support managing relationships, caregiving tasks, and communication. Multiple family members meet with the therapist together to work through difficulties and improve the caregiver’s ability to provide care.

Caregiver Group Therapy

In a group therapy setting, several caregivers meet together with a therapist or counselor to learn tools for managing emotions and facing challenges. Caregivers gain the trust and support of other members of the group and find commonalities in their difficulties.

Pastoral Counseling

Pastoral counseling combines spiritual and secular therapy techniques to help caregivers heal and grow. The sessions may include prayer, reading from spiritual texts, and discussions on faith. connects you to vetted professionals to help you manage the daily demands of child care, senior care, pet care, and housekeeping.

Learn More

How Much Does Caregiver Counseling Cost?

Caregiver counseling costs range depending on the location, needs, and income level of the individual. Some programs cost hundreds of dollars per hour, while others are offered free of charge. 

If you’re looking for affordable caregiver counseling, consider these options:

Health Insurance Provider

Some health insurance providers cover in-network therapy, and Medicare covers most mental health needs. Check with your provider to learn more about your coverage, and be sure to ask about co-pays, deductibles, and restrictions on how often you can meet with your therapist.


Some employers offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides free counseling for employees who have gone through major life changes or stressful/traumatic events. Get in touch with your HR department to find out if your company offers this service.

Local Area Aging Agency

Area Agencies on Aging provide lots of resources for elderly people and their caregivers. This is a generic term, so the local agency may have its own unique name. Visit Open Care Giving to find out more about Area Agencies on Aging in your state.

Low-Cost Therapy Services

If your health insurance doesn’t cover caregiver counseling, consider using a low-cost therapy service. Many online tools make it easy to find affordable counseling online or locally. Some of the best tools include:


Headspace's app offers different strategies such as meditation and mindfulness to improve your happiness and well-being.

Learn More

Get Support from Your Circle

Caregiving takes a village. And while burnout is common, it's not something to be ignored. If possible, get the support you need from a licensed therapist or counselor. Then get support from your circle with CircleOf, the app that offers care support, along with tools for managing finances, health, housing, and legal issues associated with elderly care.

By organizing and coordinating care within one streamlined platform, CircleOf helps reduce the stress and overload of caring for loved ones. Download the app today to start gaining control over your time, communicating with family members, and planning around care.

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