15 things to know about caregivers

On a daily basis, and often at night, caregivers take on the burdens of caring for a severely disabled child or parent or spouse.

These caregivers make sacrifices in life to provide that care, such as leaving their job or forgoing their own interests, yet they are not always recognized for their work.

Organized by the Caregiver Action Network, November is National Family Caregivers Month in recognition of these workers. This year's theme is "Respite: Care for Caregivers."

In honor of National Family Caregivers Month, Becker's Hospital Review compiled 15 things to know about caregivers.

By the numbers

1. About 40 million Americans care for family members, comprising an unpaid workforce worth about $470 billion a year, according to AARP.

2. The number of caregivers for each person 80 older is estimated to decline from seven in 2010 to four in 2030.

Gender and age

3. The majority of caregivers are female (60 percent), but 40 percent are male, according to AARP.

4. About one in 14 caregivers is 75 years of age or older (7 percent).

5. The average age for caregivers is 49 years old.

6. The typical care recipient is female (65 percent) and averages 69.4 years of age.


7. A majority of caregivers — 85 percent — provide care for a relative, while 49 percent care for a parent or a spouse's parent.

8. One in 10 caregivers provide care for a spouse.

9. On average, caregivers have been in their role for four years.

10. Caregivers spend on average 24.4 hours each week providing care to their loved one.

11. According to AARP, recent research revealed family caregivers are increasingly performing tasks that nurses typically perform. These tasks, called medical/nursing tasks, include injections, tube feedings, catheter and colostomy care, among others.

12. About six in 10 caregivers assist with medical/nursing tasks (57 percent).

13. Three in five care recipients have a long-term physical condition (59 percent), more than a third have a short-term physical condition (35 percent) and a quarter have a memory problem (26 percent).

14. Only about half — 53 percent — of caregivers have another unpaid caregiver helping their recipient.

15. Eight in 10 caregivers are taking care of one person (82 percent).


More articles on workforce and labor management:

Florida Hospital seeks to add hundreds of workers: 4 things to know
NJ nurses reject contract offer: 3 things to know
Labor board to probe allegations WCHN tried to prevent unionization: 5 things to know


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