Caregiving is an important public health issue that affects the quality of life for millions of individuals. Caregivers provide assistance with another person’s social or health needs. Caregiving may include help with one or more activities important for daily living such as bathing and dressing, paying bills, shopping and providing transportation. It also may involve emotional support and help with managing a chronic disease or disability. Caregiving responsibilities can increase and change as the recipient’s needs increase, which may result in additional strain on the caregiver.
Caregivers can be unpaid family members or friends or paid caregivers. Informal or unpaid caregivers are the backbone of long-term care provided in people’s homes. In particular, middle-aged and older adults provide a substantial portion of this care in the US, as they care for children, parents or spouses. Caregiving can affect the caregiver’s life in a myriad of ways including his/her ability to work, engage in social interactions and relationships, and maintain good physical and mental health.
Caregiving also can bring great satisfaction and strengthen relationships, thus enhancing the caregivers’ quality of life. The need for caregivers is expected to continue to grow with increases in the US older adult population. Currently, there are 7 potential family caregivers per older adult. By 2030, it is estimated there will be only 4 potential family caregivers per older adult.
17.2% of middle–aged and older adults who are not currently caregivers expect to provide care or assistance in the next two years to a friend or family members with a health problem or a disability.
- 20.0% of adults aged 45-64 years who do not currently provide care to someone expect to do so in the future compared to 12.8% of adults aged 65 years and older.
At our communities we offer services that can help caregivers including day services and respite care. Please call one of our communities to find out more about these services.