The large majority of employed American caregivers — people who work at least 15 hours per week and help care for an aging family member, relative, or friend — are looking after an elderly parent. Specifically, 72% say they provide care to a parent and separately 67% say the person is 75 years of age or older.
There is no one specific ailment that afflicts the majority of people being cared for in the United States. Rather, these people suffer from a wide array of diseases or conditions. However, the 15% of caregivers who report that the person they care for has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is more than mention any other specific sickness.
These findings are from a special survey of Americans who self-identified as caregivers in Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index surveys throughout 2010. Gallup recontacted those self-identified caregivers and interviewed 2,805 who were also employed at least 15 hours per week for a Pfizer-ReACT/Gallup poll specifically about caregiving.
In general, the findings from the survey reveal that caregiving has a significant impact on the life of the person providing care, including taking up a large portion of their life and a significant amount of time on a daily and monthly basis.
The majority of caregivers (55%) in the study said they have been providing care for three years or more. Another 31% reported giving care for between one year and less than three years. The remaining 15% had been providing care for a year or less. These data reveal that caregiving is generally a long-term commitment.
Errands and Day-to-Day Tasks Dominate Caregivers’ Work
Caregivers report spending a lot of time on different tasks related to looking after their aging family member, relative, or friend. Caregivers appear to be spending the most time on errands and general day-to-day tasks such as going shopping, doing laundry, and providing transportation. Caregivers spend an average of 13 days per month handling these types of tasks.
Caregivers spend far fewer days — six per month on average — performing personal tasks such as helping the person they are caring for eat, get dressed, and go to the bathroom. This is likely tied to the finding that the majority (64%) of caregivers say the person they care for does not live with them.
Caregivers are also spending considerable time on administrative-type tasks. They report spending an average of 13 hours per month doing things like researching care services or disease needs, coordinating physician visits, and managing financial matters.
Beyond the actual work and chores of caregiving — errands, personal items, and administrative tasks — caregivers are fulfilling a companionship role. On a typical day spent giving care, caregivers report devoting an average of five hours providing companionship or supervision.
Contact Pure Home Care Services at (586) 293-2457 today! If you live in Franklin or the surrounding area, we can help you care for your loved ones.