As we head into a (much needed) Thanksgiving break, I thought I’d write about caregivers. Those thankless souls that give of themselves so that others may… live their lives. Caregivers give so a family member, patient, or friend might sleep a little better, eat a nutritious meal, bathe or simply get out of bed. There’s plenty to be thankful for this holiday season, but this weekend we’re thinking about caregivers. In 2004, the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP released a report titled “Caregiving in the US”, this report was updated in November of 2009 and reveals some very interesting “caregiver” data.
Caregiver Facts and Figures:
Did you know… (according to the “Caregiving in the US” report noted above)
- There are an estimated 65.7 million people in the US that report having served as unpaid family caregivers to an adult or child
- 21.2% of responders (equating to 48.9 million US adults) reported being “adult only” caregivers
- 5.6% of responders (equating to 12.9 million US adults) reported being “both adult and child” caregivers
- 1.7% of responders (equating to 3.9 million US adults) reported being “child only” caregivers
Other interesting caregiver tidbits from the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP report:
Caregivers are predominantly female (66%)
On average caregivers are 48 years young, and one-third of the caregiver responders reported that they take care of 2 or more people
86% of the caregivers reported that they primarily provide care for a relative (over one-third take care of a parent)
To read more, here’s a link to the “Caregiving in the US” report Executive Summary.
I’ve witnessed first hand the love, dedication, compassion, and conviction it takes to be a caregiver. My own mother (69) will, on a moments notice drive the 3 and a half hours from Missoula (MT) to Spokane (WA) to take care of her mother (90) who is still “aging in place” at her home of 45 years! I speak to caregivers on a regular basis, and my wife provides care at least once a week for clients and/or friends. So it is to you… the caregiver that we’ll be toasting this weekend. Thank you for giving… Thank you for caring!
If you liked this post be sure and check out another caregiving post entitled Quality Neighbors Make The Best Soup.