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.

References: 

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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