The Project AHEAD (Asian Health Education and Development) 2019 cohort focused their project on caregiver burnout associated with adult caregivers of elderly family members in need of long-term care in the New York City Asian American community. During their nine-week internship, they led awareness campaigns and workshops with local and national experts on mental health and caregiving.
Various socio-cultural factors encourage Asian American caregivers to take on the responsibility of caring for their aging relatives. In particular, the Chinese belief of filial piety focuses on respect to family elders. Children are responsible for supporting their parents to ensure their well-being. Such cultural beliefs, values, and practices carry mental health effects that may lead to ineffective and unhealthy ways of coping to stress. Caregivers consistently report higher levels of depressive symptoms in addition to lower levels of physical self-care, such as missing doctor’s appointments, worsened eating habits, and lack of exercise. This is commonly known as caregiver burnout, but has mainly been studied in the context of White Americans. Therefore, it is necessary to view caregiver burnout through a cultural lens.
We are thrilled to share their project on the effects of caregiver burnout on mental health, its signs and symptoms, tips for managing stress and self-care, and local resources for seeking help through their Passing the Torch: Caregiver Burnout in Asian American Families podcasts and zine.
The purpose of the Passing the Torch zine is to promote greater awareness on caregiver burnout associated with adult caregivers of elderly family members in need of long-term care in the Asian American community. This zine includes a collection of caregiving experiences through words and art to educate current and potential young adult caregivers on both the negative and positive aspects of caregiving.
Click here and listen to Project AHEAD intern and Tufts University student Erin Berja as she chats with Major General Tony Taguba, a decorated Filipino-American war veteran and community ambassador for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), on his journey spreading the awareness of family caregiving and the challenges it presents.
Click here and listen to Vassar College senior and Project AHEAD intern Rachel Kim speaking with Manna Chan, the Director of Social Work at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. With over 20 years of experience, Manna has had many opportunities to work with caregivers and provide her unique insight on caregiving and caregiver burnout.
For more information on caregiving and other resources, contact CBWCHC Social Work Department.
About Project AHEAD:
Project AHEAD provides training and experience to college students who have an interest in pursuing a career in health care. It supports further understanding of the historical and current issues impacting the health of Asian American populations. Every summer, the participants design a community health project to amplify the impact of their work and address the community’s most pressing health needs. Meet the 2019 cohort.