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Family Caregivers in the U.S.

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What does the typical caregiver in America look like? According to new research by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, the typical family caregiver is a 49-year-old woman who takes care of a relative, but caregivers in general are becoming as varied as the American population.

Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 provides unexpected insight into America's family caregivers. The typical higher-hour caregiver (providing at least 21 hours a week of unpaid care) has been caregiving for an average of 5 1/2 years and expects to continue care for another 5 years. Nearly half (46%) of these higher-hour caregivers report high emotional stress.

The study also found interesting data from subpopulations of caregivers. Nearly a quarter of America's caregivers are between the ages of 18 and 34 and equally likely to be male or female. Caregivers aged 75 or older are likely to be the sole support for their loved one, providing care without paid help or help from relatives and friends. Men represent 40 percent of family caregivers and provide an average of 23 hours a week.

Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 is a joint report between the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. The report was made possible through generous sponsorship from AARP, the Archstone Foundation, Eli Lilly, Home Instead Senior Care, the MetLife Foundation, Pfizer, UnitedHealthcare, and the Family Support Research and Training Center in conjunction with the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Additional highlights of the study:

82% care for one person who is likely either living with the caregiver or living within 20 minutes of the caregiver.

60% of caregivers are female. The typical caregiver is a 49-year-old female caring for a 69-year-old female relative, most likely her mother.

40% of caregivers are male.

34% of caregivers have a full-time job, while 25% work part time. Caregivers who work do so for 34.7 hours per week on average.

Caregivers have been caring for 4 years on average, spending 24.4 hours per week helping with activities like bathing, dressing, housework, and managing finances.

32% provide at least 21 hours of care a week, on average providing 62.2 hours of care weekly.

38% of caregivers report high emotional stress from the demands of caregiving.

Visit or to download the report and related materials.


Posted by RuthAnn Howdyshell Wynn (July 13, 2015)

My husband was 63 when he passed he was diagnosed when he was 56 I was 50 I was his sole caregiver he had two types of dementia vascular dementia and Parkinson's with lewie bodies dementia it is very stressful I did have help getting him to doctor's appt's and my son came by almost every day he also took him to the movies that's the most important thing is the caregiver taking a break

Posted by JB (July 13, 2015)

Pretty accurate. I'm early forties & my mom is 78. It is stressful & can be hard but I would not change it for the world. I am giving back to the person that gave me her love so freely. The better I serve the cleaner my soul.

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