The Profile of the Family Caregiver in America is Changing

According to a new study from AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, family caregivers are a varied group. Litttman Krooks Elder Law

The report, Caregiving in the U.S. 2015, found that while the “typical” caregiver is a woman age 49 taking care of a relative, there are some surprising findings as well. Men, who are often stereotyped as failing to take on caregiving responsibilities, actually account for 40 percent of family caregivers and provide 23 hours of caregiving work per week on average. People of the millennial generation, between the ages of 18 and 34, represent nearly a quarter of family caregivers, and they are equally likely to be male or female. Caregivers age 75 or older are likely to be the sole caregiver for their loved one.

Of those who provide more than 20 hours per week of unpaid care work, the typical caregiver has been providing such care for an average of 5 1/2 years and expects to continue for another 5 years. Almost half of these caregivers report a great amount of emotional stress. Caregivers have an average household income of $45,700, and many report financial strain.

According to the AARP and National Alliance for Caregiving, more support systems are needed for caregivers. They warn that as the baby boom generation ages, the amount of caregiving work needed will increase. Caregivers need to care for themselves as well, and take advantage of support systems such as respite care, support groups, stress management and resources and tools to make caregiving in the home easier.

Family caregivers can get support from the New York State Caregiving & Respite Coalition.

 

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