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Unsung Heroes: Celebrating Family Caregivers

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Unsung Heroes: Celebrating Family Caregivers

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 Caregiver’s 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.

Source: www.caregiver.org

Next: How You Can Help a Caregiver

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Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

53 comments

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5:07AM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

We are providing free long term care insuarance tips:

http://www.independentinsuranceadvice.info/

6:40PM PDT on Sep 7, 2012

My cousin is one unsung hero and she's been a care giver for over 30 years now.

12:46AM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

Thank you for article.

5:19PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Similar stories in UK too. Many carers exhausted and we are fighting cuts for our disabled and elderly care needs.

6:17AM PDT on Mar 29, 2011

Thanks for the info.

4:47AM PST on Feb 1, 2011

It's expensive to hire a full time care giver....family members often have to step in...help should be put into place to better inform those family members of how to cope with the added responsibilities of caring for their aging parents.

10:06AM PST on Jan 10, 2011

Thanks for appreciating & acknowledging the caregivers around the world.

4:01PM PST on Jan 7, 2011

this is good to read, there's not really a lot of information about these great people, thank you for the info:)

3:18PM PST on Nov 19, 2010

I appreciate the article. Thank you.

2:42PM PST on Nov 13, 2010

Thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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