It’s estimated that there are more than 65 million caregivers in the United States providing home care for a senior parent or loved one. Caregiving can be a very rewarding experience, but it’s also one of the most challenging. After all, many caregivers balance their caregiving responsibilities with a job and children. Here are 6 surprising facts about family caregivers in the U.S.
1. 70 Percent of working caregivers have work-related problems
It can be hard to balance a full- or part-time job with the responsibilities of caregiving. The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP found that 70 percent of family caregivers with a job have work-related troubles. This includes lost wages and job benefits, lost retirement savings, decreased hours, and unpaid leave to meet caregiving responsibilities.
2. Caregivers spend 20 hours a week on caregiving
On average, family caregivers spend 20 hours per week providing care for a loved one. Caregivers who live with their loved one spend an average of 39 hours a week on care. Caregivers who are 65 or older spend an average of 31 hours a week on caregiving.
3. Caregiving can have physical health consequences
According to the AARP, 17 percent of family caregivers report their health has worsened since becoming an at-home caregiver. Female caregivers and older caregivers are more likely to report high physical strain from their responsibilities.
4. 40-70 Percent of family caregivers have significant symptoms of depression
According to a 2006 study, up to 70 percent of family caregivers have significant signs of depression while 25-50 percent of these caregivers meet the criteria to be diagnosed with major depression.
5. Female caregivers shoulder the most burden of care
While more men are helping with caregiving tasks than in decades past, women still perform most difficult duties of caregiving. Female caregivers are more likely to handle challenging tasks like toileting and bathing while men are more likely to help with finances.
6. Family caregiver services are estimated at $450 billion a year
Family or informal caregivers provide services to loved ones estimated at $450 billion a year. This is almost double the value of home care and nursing home care. It also exceeds Medicaid spending and even annual Wal-Mart sales.
Being the primary caregiver for a senior parent or loved one is challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Whether you could benefit from respite care a few hours a week or your loved one has a more advanced condition and requires Alzheimer’s or in-home dementia care in Boca Raton, Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers are trained, experienced, and able to provide your loved one in-home support regardless of his or her abilities, our dedicated Care Managers are available to clients and their families 24/7, and we’ll never ask you to sign a long-term contract. To learn more about our care services, give us a call at (561) 826.9282 and request a free in-home consultation.