To say that caregiving is stressful might be an understatement.

Professional caregivers work long hours in a profession that considers burnout a hazard. And the problem only became more acute during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to AARP, the number of people caring for a family member—usually unpaid—has grown to nearly 25 percent over the last five years.

The New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative, with the Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative, have recently published a series of stories examining the challenges all caregivers face as part of a joint solutions journalism project titled “Overloaded and (Often) Unpaid.” The challenges include the toll it can take on mental health.

In conjunction with the series, this podcast episode brought together two caregivers:  Angela McIntyre, a nurse who cares for vulnerable patients; and Ramona Cosme, who cared for her grandmother for a long time. They discussed how they came to be caregivers, the challenges that come with caregiving, and ways they relieve stress.

The Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative and the New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative are partnerships of news and community organizations dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about successful responses to social problems. The collaboratives are supported by the Solutions Journalism Network.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above.

This podcast episode was produced by Naina Rao, project reporter for the New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative. It was edited by Monica Williams of the New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative and Gordon Evans of the Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative.

Stories in this series