There are many questions to ponder when contemplating becoming family caregivers.  Family caregivers encompass everyone from a spouse, children, sibling, life partner or even a close neighbor.  While I provided care to my mother for 9 ½ years, there are statistics and other information I have discovered which I want to share about family caregivers:

  • Family caregivers provide an estimated 90% of care in America.
  • Data shows 17% of the American full-time workforce are caregivers, and this amounts to a combined 126,222,624 missed workdays each year, at an estimated cost to the U.S. economy of $25.2 billion in lost productivity.
  • More than 75% of all caregivers are female who may spend as much as 50% more time providing care than their male counterparts.
  • Approximately 9% of caregivers self-identify as LGBT.
  • Adults ages 45 to 64 are the most likely to be in a family caregiver role.
  • An average caregiver aged 50 or older who stops work to be a full-time caregiver will forego $303,880 in wages, Social Security and pensions benefits.
  • In a survey of how family caregivers met the financial obligations of a loved one’s long-term care needs: 93% of caregivers reported using their own income to help pay for care; 74% personally provided care in a loved one’s home; 54% brought their loved one into their home, and 49% used their own savings to help pay for care.
  • Approximately 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months.
  • Approximately 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months.
  • On average, family caregivers spend 24.4 hours per week providing care. Nearly 1 in 4 caregivers spends 41 hours or more per week providing care. 
  • Approximately 85% of all caregivers are family caregivers and 42% of them care for a mother (31%) or father (11%.)
  • Approximately 16.6% of all Americans (39.8million) are caregivers to persons over the age of 18 with a disability or illness.
  • Primary family caregivers of people with dementia report spending an average of 9 hours per day assisting their relatives.
  • In 2014, the estimated financial value of care provided to persons with Alzheimer’s or Dementia by unpaid caregivers was $217.7 billion.
  • Family and other unpaid caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias provide an estimated 21.9 hours of care per week.


The National Academy of Medicine

National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP

Alzheimer’s Association

Institute on Aging

Pew Research Center

Bureau of Labor Statistics

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