Here at Posana, our mission is to uplift and support South Asian caregivers. Although family caregiving is a beautiful South Asian tradition, it can pose some unique challenges.
As we explored at one of our events, Caregiver Mind and Body Wellness, the majority of caregivers are women, who juggle career, family, and other parts of their lives with the responsibilities of caregiving. South Asian women, in particular, have traditionally sacrificed their own self-care while devoting a significant portion of their time and energy to caregiving. Family Caregiver Alliance provides some statistics that show the personal time that women spend as caregivers, as opposed to men. One Sri Lankan study noted many family members perceived that daughters are natural caregivers and pride themselves on how they take care of their parents. At the same time, female caregivers are much more likely to experience depression and anxiety; and may not maintain essential, consistent healthcare like routine medical appointments for themselves.
The cultivation of a healthy relationship between the caregiver and the recipient is paramount to the physical and mental health of both. It is not unheard of for South Asian caregivers to experience pressure (from themselves or external surroundings) to go above and beyond normal standards of care to meet personal expectations. This pressure often comes at the expense of health or personal aspirations. Some conflict in these relationships is normal, but can give rise to stress and other mental health effects for both the caregiver and the recipient. This type of relationship could be different from a professional and/or hired caregiver who may not have such a close familial relationship - however many paid caregivers tend to form close relationships with their patients. It remains important for caregivers to designate times for themselves and find support in mediating conflict and navigating close relationships.
Our caregiver profiles explore these relationships in depth, and provide more unique perspectives and challenges of individual caregivers.
All things considered, there are benefits in South Asian culture that can help alleviate caregiver burden and foster healthy relationships. Many South Asian families have a large support network where other family members are available to shoulder some of the financial or physical burden. Fortunately, there are a growing number of services, programs, and training to support caregivers. Many families find caregiving to be rewarding-an act of not only tradition, but love and care.
At Posana, we recognize the unique needs of the South Asian community and aim to provide the most helpful resources. You can further explore our resources at https://posana.org/resources, as well as interact with us on social media or email us at email@example.com. Please let us know how we can help you.
Caregiving expectations and challenges among elders and their adult children in Southern Sri Lanka, Aging and Society, Volume 34, Issue 5.
Women and Caregiving: Facts and Figures, Family Caregiver Alliance.
Family Caregiving in Dementia: The Asian Perspective of a Global Problem, Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders.