Have you seen the Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 report?
First conducted in 1997, with follow up surveys in 2004, 2009 and 2015, the Caregiving in the U.S. studies provide some of the most comprehensive information about caregivers in America. The report was commissioned by the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP.
The 2020 edition confirms some of the changes in caregiving that we’ve been seeing in our practice.
For one, there are more people in caregiver roles than ever. The new study finds that the number of family caregivers in the United States increased by 9.5 million from 2015 to 2020 to total 53 million people and encompasses more than one in five Americans.
The report also confirms that the pressures of caring for older loved ones are having an adverse impact on caregivers. More family caregivers are in worse health than they were to five years ago when the report was last issued.
The profile of the family caregiver is changing. While caregiving spans all generations, Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 found more young people providing care, including 6% who are Gen Z and 23% who are Millennials. Nearly half (45%) are caring for someone with two or more conditions—a significant jump from 37% in 2015.
Caregivers are also doing more complex things for loved ones. The report reveals that three in five caregivers (58%) perform medical and nursing tasks such as wound care and managing medications.
The coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating the challenges family caregivers were already facing from a personal health, financial and emotional standpoint. Family caregivers provide vital help and care for their loved ones, yet this survey shows that they keep getting stretched thinner and thinner.
One key takeaway is clear. As a society, it’s vital that we identify and implement more solutions to support family caregivers—both in the short term as we grapple with coronavirus and in the long term as our population ages and the number of family caregivers declines.
If you need help caring for elderly loved ones, Takacs McGinnis is here to assist. Just give our office a call at 615.824.2571.