Information sourced from the Family Caregiver Alliance:

Study Provides Unique Qualitative And Quantitative Data On Caregivers

The Families and Work Institute has released a report that analyzes data on caregiving based on the ongoing National Study of the Changing Workforce.  The report includes both quantitative data from a random sample in 2008 of 3,502 workers in the U.S. as well as qualitative interviews with 140 caregivers.  The authors find that 42% of employed Americans have provided elder care (“special attention or care for a relative or in-law 65-years-old or older helping with things that were difficult or impossible for them to do themselves”) in the past five years.  Similar to past research, this study also finds that women are more likely to provide family care on a regular basis and spend more time than men providing care (9.1 hours on average per week for women, 6.4 hours for men).  Caregiving also creates financial challenges.  Of the 38% of respondents who report taking time off or working fewer hours, 48% report losing income during their caregiving leave.  In addition, 48% reported that they and/or their spouse helped cover the cost of care for their elder, with 27% perceiving this as somewhat of a burden, and 14% perceiving this as a great burden.  In terms of caregiver health, 44% of current and former family caregivers report that caregiving has had a negative impact on the way they take care of themselves.  The report includes individual responses from the qualitative interviews. One theme highlighted is that of caregivers having a negative view of the aging process: “An alarming theme that emerged from our interviews is that family caregivers overwhelmingly seem to view aging and receiving elder care as profoundly negative, depressing processes to be avoided if at all possible.”  For more information, visit:

Families and Work Institute