Who Is Caring for Our Senior Loved Ones?

Posted at May 09, 2014 | 118 Comments

As Michigan’s population ages, more and more adult children are becoming caregivers. It is a phenomenon being played out across our country. As insurance companies press for shorter and shorter lengths of stay in the hospital, the types of responsibilities those caregivers are assuming are getting increasingly more complex.

A Pew Research study published in 2013 shed some light on who is providing care and what types of care they are providing.

The Profile of a Caregiver

Who are our country’s unpaid caregivers and how many are there? Here are some of the statistics from Pew Research:

  • Four in ten people surveyed say they provide care for a loved one who lives with significant health issues.
  • That accounts for 39% of the adult population in the U.S. In 2010, that number was only 30%.
  • 37% of caregivers are men. That is an increase of 7% from 2010.
  • 44% of caregivers are between the age of 50 and 65. Another 42% of them are between the ages of 30 and 49.
  • 44% of caregivers have some college education and 40% have a college degree.
  • 46% of caregiver households have an income between $50,000 and $74,999.

Caregiver Duties

The caregiver role has also become more clinically demanding.

  • 46% of family caregivers surveyed said they perform nursing and medical tasks.
  • Of those, 75% said they have given injections, administered IV fluids, and performed other similar tasks.
  • 39% of caregivers say they are managing a loved one’s medications for them. 18% are using mobile apps to do so.

Financial Impact of Unpaid Caregiving

Unpaid family caregivers provide a highly valuable service.  Caregiver support was valued at $450 billion per year in 2009 up from $375 billion in 2007. The Family Caregiver Alliance estimates that the value of unpaid family caregiving will continue to climb as the average age of the U.S. population continues to increase.

Are you a Michigan caregiver?

Do you find yourself performing clinical tasks for your loved one?


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