On December 8, the National Alliance for Caregiving released the latest results on their 2009 study, “Caregiving in the U.S.” , the most comprehensive examination to date. Here are some highlights from the study:
- 65.7 million Americans (29% of the U.S. Population) are family caregivers for an adult child with disabilities, an elder or a child under the age of 18 with special needs.
- Out of those, 48.9 million are caring for someone over the age of 50.
- The average length of time for a caregiver caring for a person over the age of 50 is 4 years.
- Caregiving is still mostly a woman’s job with many women having to put their career and financial future on hold because of caregiving duties.
- 25% say that they spend 21-40 hours per week caring for a loved one over age 18.
- Only 1 in 10 say that if they have siblings, they split the care equally.
- 10% are caregiving for loved ones with either Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia.
- The programs that caregivers support most are the $3000.00 per year tax credit, respite service scholarships, voucher programs that some states offer that pay them a minimum wage to be a caregiver and transportation services.
What I found very interesting is that while caregivers often seek out the help of those who have gone before them in the caregiving arena, nearly 1/2 say that they have not gone to a web site in the past year to seek information related to being a caregiver.
Would any of you like to comment on why that might be?
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