Caregivers. There are about 65 million people in the United States who identify themselves as caregivers.
On average, these unsung heroes spend 20 hours per week tending to friends or family members who are chronically ill or have disabilities.
November is National Family Caregiverís Month, and we owe our gratitude to the kind souls who sacrifice so much for the benefit of others, often without acknowledgment.
The Caregiving Profile
- Sixty-five percent of older people with long-term care needs rely solely on family and friends for assistance.
- Women tend to outlive their spouses and have less in terms of retirement savings and pensions, and are more apt to require long-term care themselves.
- The average caregiver is age 46, female, married, and working outside the home, earning about $35,000.
- Women provide the majority of hands-on care and advocacy for family and friends. Informal care provided by women is estimated to be worth about $148 billion to $188 billion annually.
- Caregiving on a regular basis often leads to lost wages or forced early retirement.
- Many caregivers also pay for supplies and assistive devices for their loved ones.
- The stress of caregiving in the long-term can result in higher incidence of anxiety, depression, or other health issues. Caregivers may also neglect their own health.
Next: How You Can Help a Caregiver