"General Caregiving" - FAQ

Hello!  I will be posting a new set of caregiving questions on a regular basis - this time I'm focusing on some general questions I'm routinely asked by caregivers.  Other topics will include caring for a spouse, caring for the caregiver, caregiver resources, etc.  If you have a specific question you would like answered please email me at info@abramson.com.  I look forward to hearing from you!

  1. How many caregivers are there?  More than 40 million Americans provide care for an aging family member or friend - during any given year they spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved ones.
  2. What is the typical age of a caregiver? While caregivers can be found across the age span, the majority of caregivers are middle-aged (45-65 years old). The average age of family caregivers caring for an aging loved one has been estimated at 46. 
  3. How much money is spent on caregiving each year?  It is estimated that over $375 billion in "free" caregiving services are provided for the chronically ill, disabled or aged spouse, family member or friend during any given year. That is over twice as much as is actually spent on homecare and nursing home services combined ($158 billion).
  4. How much time is spent on caregiving? Nearly half of caregivers provide fewer than eight hours of care per week, while nearly one in five provide more than 40 hours of care per week.  Older caregivers often spend the most hours providing care.  Nearly one-third (28%) of caregivers who provide more than 40 hours of care per week are 65+ years.
  5. Do caregivers often hold down jobs as well? A significant portion of those in the workforce are also providing elder care to family members. Approximately 40% of all workers report that they are currently providing, or have recently provided, care to someone 65 or older.
  6. What roles do men and women caregivers hold? Studies have found that women caregivers handle the most difficult caregiving tasks (i.e., bathing, toileting and dressing) when compared with their male counterparts who are more likely to help with finances. Female caregivers are more likely than males to suffer from anxiety, depression, and other symptoms associated with emotional stress due to caregiving.