Wisconsin Family Caregiver’s Experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic brought many changes to the daily lives of families, especially for family caregivers. Caregivers of those with illnesses or disabilities have taken on increasing responsibility for care tasks due to social distancing and quarantine guidelines. To best support caregivers and families both during and after the pandemic, it is critical to understand how their lives were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This research brief examines family caregivers’ experiences in Wisconsin from May 2020 to June 2021.

Some of the key findings include:

  • During the pandemic, caregivers of adults were more likely to report that COVID-19 is a threat to their communities and household than non-caregivers
  • Caregivers took more precautionary behaviors, used fewer coping behaviors, and were more likely to forgo healthcare than non-caregivers
  • Caregivers also had significantly greater levels of stress than non-caregivers and continued to report an increase in feelings of burnout over the course the pandemic
  • Caregivers with better community-based support had lower levels of distress during the pandemic

We believe that the findings of this brief can be used to better understand the challenges of caregiving and help support caregivers during stressful events.