Caregiving is a hard and sometimes thankless job, and a record number of Americans are now providing home care for an elderly parent. In honor of National Family Caregiver Month this November, here are six surprising statistics about family caregivers and the challenges they face.
1. 40 percent of U.S. Adults Are Family Caregivers
More on-going care is now taking place at home as more seniors prefer to age in place. This has led to an increasing number of family caregivers and home health care workers. Between 2000 and 2013, the number of caregivers in the U.S. increased by 10 percent, with 4 out of 10 adults in the U.S. now caring for an elderly or ill family member.
2. 50 percent of Adults Expect to Become a Family Caregiver
According to a Pew Research Study, more than half of U.S. adults expect they will become a caregiver for a family member or parent at some point. This means the number of family caregivers is expected to increase steadily over the next decade.
3. Most Caregivers Are Women with Jobs
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, between 53 percent and 68 percent of family caregivers are women. Female caregivers are more likely to help with tough tasks like bathing than male caregivers. More than 2 out of every 3 caregivers also manage a full-time or part-time job.
4. Most Caregivers of Seniors Are Seniors in Poor Health
The average age of caregivers caring for someone over the age of 65 is 63. One-third of these caregivers are also in fair to poor health, which is important to note because caregiving can be a stressful job and seriously impact overall health.
5. The Value Family Caregivers Provide Is Estimated at $375 Billion Annually
Family caregivers are estimated to provide $375 billion in services every year for “free,” which is nearly double the amount spent on home health care.
6. Family Caregiving Takes an Average of 20 Hours a Week
Family caregivers spend an average of 20 hours a week caring for a family member, which is the equivalent of a part-time job. About 13 percent of caregivers provide 40 hours or more of care per week for a family member.
If you’re the primary caregiver for an aging parent and could use help meeting his or her care needs, turn to Home Care Assistance. As a leading provider of live-in and respite care, as well as Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s, and dementia care in Sonoma County, we ensure both seniors and their families have the support necessary to maintain optimal health, wellness, and safety. Please give us a call today at (707) 843.4368 and request a free in-home consultation to learn more.