Family Caregivers: Get the Facts

family caregivers

Family caregivers are priceless

In the U.S., there are 43.5 million family caregivers just like you, providing unpaid care to an adult aged 50+. That’s almost 1 in 5 adults who are caregivers. And, the estimated value of this unpaid work is $450 billion!


Why would you care about statistics?

Understanding the average caregiving situation helps us remember that we’re not alone.  See how your situation compares to families across the nation.

By the way, this was a big research study so most of the data is from late 2009. Even though that was a while ago, these numbers still paint a picture of what many caregivers are doing and how they’re feeling today.


Some caregiver averages

  • 67% of you are 50 year old women
  • Almost 50% spend 1-8 hours/week on caregiving
  • More than half of you are employed


How do you feel about caregiving?

  • One-third rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high (meaning, a 4 or 5 out of 5)
  • 4 in 10 feel they didn’t have a choice to become a caregiver
  • One-third are the primary caregiver (provide more unpaid help than others)


Some older adult averages

  • On average, most of you are caring for a 77 year old woman
  • 58% of older adults live in their own house
  • 76% need care because of long-term physical conditions


How do you juggle caregiving and your job?

  • 84% have to go in to work late, leave early, or take time off during the day
  • 3 in 10 say they need help balancing work and family
  • 3 in 10 also say they need help finding time for themselves


How far away do you live?

  • 1 in 5 older adults live with their caregiver
  • 51% of caregivers live within 20 minutes of their older adult
  • Nearly half of caregivers visit their older adult more than once a week


What caregiving tasks are you doing?

  • 84% drive or arrange rides
  • 75% do housework
  • 75% do the grocery shopping
  • Over 50% advocate on their older adult’s behalf with doctors and government agencies


By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Sources: Caregiving in the U.S. A Focused Look at Those Caring for Someone Age 50 or Older, November 2009, from The National Alliance for Caregiving, AARP, and MetLife Foundation; The Economic Value of Family Caregiving in 2009, July 2011 update, from AARP Public Policy Institute
Image: Adelmo Family Care


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