Realities of Caregiving

Caregiving in the United States is more prevalent than people realize.

Who Takes Care of Me? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KO9H2AYXTUk
Caring for Aging Parents http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=8014531

There are numerous professionals and businesses ready to provide vital assistance and support to make caregiving less traumatic and more rewarding. The number of these resources is increasing significantly. The goal of Bridges is to provide you with links and resources to help you on your caregiving journey.

In this section, the term “caregiver” refers to the person providing care and “caree” to the person receiving care.

Family Caregiving Facts in America

  • There are more than 44 million Americans (21% of all U.S. households) providing unpaid caregiving for an adult family member or friend over the age of 18 (National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 2004).
  • 83% are family caregivers (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011).
  • The typical caregiver is 46 years old with some college education and is providing care more than 20 hours per week for his or her mother (National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 2004).
  • 60% of caregivers are women; 40% are men (National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 2004).
  • More than 15% of caregivers are caring for a loved one who is more than an hour away from their home or work (National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 2004).
  • 37% of caregivers had to reduce their work hours or resign from their jobs (AARP, 2008).
  • 73% of surveyed caregivers said prayer helped them to handle stress; 61% said they talk with friends or relatives; and 44% read books or other materials (National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 2004).
  • Half of caregivers experienced deterioration in their own health, which affected their ability to provide care (National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 2004).

Where to Start