Caregiving Icon of a person with arm around another person's shoulder with a heart above

Am I a caregiver?

You’re considered a caregiver if you:

  • Assist a loved one or friend with medical, daily living or household tasks
  • Help guide care decisions or manage finances for the individual/people
  • Provide the care unpaid

If that describes you, you’re not alone. More than 43.5 million Americans are informal caregivers each year.

The health care system can only do so much. Outside of that, 20% of North Dakotans rely on some level of care from family members or friends.

Caregiving takes its toll

The commitment of time, labor and emotional support this role requires can have a substantial impact on caregivers’ physical, behavioral and emotional well-being.

Suicidal thoughts
In August 2020, 31% of unpaid caregivers reported suicidal ideation in the past 30 days (compared to 3% of the general population), according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Serious health conditions
Caregivers have higher rates of serious health conditions (26% more than the general public).

Negative coping methods
Many caregivers relieve stress by turning to a variety of negative coping mechanisms such as alcohol, medication and food.

Mental health conditions
Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, obesity and adjustment disorder are common among caregivers.

Cover of caregivers report
Download the BCBS report

The impact of caregiving on mental and physical health

Meet fellow caregivers

Read the BCBSND caregiving series.

Find support resources

Help is available! Access a caregivers’ library or a directory of services available in North Dakota.