Monday, September 24, 2012

Family Caregiving Stats: How Many People Are Caring for an Elderly Loved One?

Senior care is an important part of life, one that allows elderly individuals to continue aging in place with dignity and independence. In fact, remaining in their home for as long as possible is extremely important to many seniors. To make this happen, family members often step in to provide the home care assistance that their loved ones need in order to stay out of an assisted living or nursing facility.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compiled a list of facts regarding family caregiving. Here are some of the highlights from these statistics, which shed light on just how important senior care is to families that have elderly loved ones.

  1. As of 2008, over 34 million unpaid caregivers offered services to seniors.
  2. Approximately 21 percent of households within the United States feel the repercussions of caregiving responsibilities.
  3. It is estimated that 90 percent of the long-term care provided to elderly individuals is performed by unpaid caregivers, which are typically family members. In fact, 83 percent of all unpaid caregivers are those who are offering their services to a relative.
  4. Women provide the majority of unpaid senior care. The CDC cites that the average caregiver “is a 46 year old woman with some college experience and provides more than 20 hours of care each week to her mother.”
  5. Caregivers are often responsible for the expenses associated with the care of their loved one. The website reports that those caring for a family member who was 50 years old or older in 2007 spent an average of $5,531.
  6. As of 2008, an estimated 37 percent of unpaid caregivers had to quit their jobs or reduce the amount of time they spent on the job in order to meet the needs of their elderly loved one. 
Home care professionals know that taking care of an elderly loved one can be stressful. This is why they are trained and ready to step in whenever you need someone to take over care—either permanently or temporarily. Elder care providers can offer a variety of services, from respite care to in-home care, that can make caregiving a bit easier for the millions of family members who support their elderly loved ones.

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