According to a research study from the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, the description of the family caregiver is changing. While the typical family caregiver is usually depicted as, on average, a 49-year-old woman who cares for a relative, caregivers in general are becoming very diverse.
The usual higher-hour caregiver, who gives unpaid care for a minimum of 21 hours per week, has been providing care for an average of 5 ½ years, and anticipates continuing to provide care for an additional five years. Almost half of such caregivers have reported high emotional stress.
Considering an average household income of $45,700, caregivers have revealed that they are under much emotional and financial strain. Higher-hour caregivers say it is challenging to find economical caregiving services, including delivered meals, transportation or health services within the home.
According to Gail Gibson Hunt, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving, there is a concern that family caregivers are not receiving adequate support as they get older. This lack of support for caregivers can put both the caregiver and the recipient of care at a disadvantage.
Those who provide caregiving services to a close family member, such as a spouse or a parent, and who provide care for at least 21 hours a week, reveal that it would be helpful if they are mentioned in the medical records of the care recipient as a family caregiver.