The Burden of Caregiving

Spouses, children, grandchildren and loved-ones alike, work hard to provide seniors with the extra attention and care they need.

  •  In the United States, more than 43 million individuals provide care to an aged family member.
  • The average age of today’s senior caregiver is 49.2 years old; older on average than were their counterparts only a decade ago.
  • 66% of caregivers are female and one third of women caregivers take care of two or more people simultaneously.
  • Approximately 16 million Americans care for an aging parent while also caring for a child under the age of 21.
  • 25% of seniors are caregivers to their spouse or partner, indicating the obvious; many caregivers of older people are themselves growing older.
  • One third of older Americans who care for someone over the age of 65 are themselves in poor health.  Furthermore, the number of hours dedicated to caregiving increases with the age of the caregiver.  Senior caregivers over the age of 65, on average, put in between 30 and 35 hours of caregiving per week, a full time job.

Predictably, caregiving takes its toll.  Caregivers take on enormous responsibility for their loved ones but, as a result, suffer significant detrimental effects.

  •  88% of caregivers rate their caregiving duties as more difficult than they anticipated.
  • Caregiving can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, potentially resulting in anxiety or depression.
  • Caregivers suffer from high levels of stress and frustration.
  • Caregivers are in worse physical condition than non-caregivers.
  • Caregivers have an increased risk of heart attack.
  • Among elderly caregivers, caregivers have a 63% higher mortality than non-caregivers of the same age.