“Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know was possible”
Tia Walker, Author
Family Caregiver Statistics
- The value of the services family caregivers provide “for free” is estimated to be $375 billion a year, almost twice as much as is actually spent on homecare and nursing home services combined ($158 billion) and exceeding Medicaid long-term care spending in all states. (National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare, March 2009)
- 78% of adults living in the community and in need of long-term care depend on family and friends as their only source of help. (Thompson, L. Long-term care: support for family caregivers. 2004)
Family & Caregiving
- So far away: twenty questions for long distance caregivers
- What’s Happening to Grandpa?—For children, preschool through 3rd Grade. Kate talks about the challenges her family experiences when her Grandpa is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease
- Lotsa Helping Hands—Free online tool for caregivers to organize care and communicate with other family members, friends and neighbors.
- Elder Mediation—Resource on shared family decision making
- Minding our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories, Carol Bradley Bursack
- They’re Your Parents, Too! How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy, Francine Russo
- When Elder Care Brings Back Sibling Tensions, Francine Russo
- Who Cares More for Mom? Francine Russo
- Adult Family Conflict Resolution
- Redressing Inequity in Parent Care Among Siblings, Berit Ingersoll-Dayton et. al, Journal of Marriage and Family
- Caregiving Revisited: Old and New Perspectives on Families Assisting Elders, Steven Zarit
Gender & Caregiving
Key Statistics (most from Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures):
- The typical family caregiver is a 49-year-old married, employed woman caring for her widowed 69-year-old mother who does not live with her. Approximately 66% of family caregivers are women. More than 37% have dependents under 18 years old living with them. (Caregiving in the United States; National Alliance for Caregiving in collab. November 2009)
- Women caregivers are more likely than men to help with the more intense, personal aspects of care—such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and managing incontinence.
- 10 million women are currently providing unpaid care to someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
- Studies show that female caregivers receive less caregiving support than male caregivers. Even women caring for husbands with advanced Alzheimer’s disease received less support from family and friends than men caring for wives in similar situations.
- A national study on women and caregiving found that:
- 33% of working women decreased work hours
- 29% passed up a job promotion, training or assignment
- 22% took a leave of absence
- 20% switched from full-time to part-time employment
- 16% quit their jobs
- 13% retired early
(MetLife Mature Market Institute, National Alliance for Caregiving, & The National Center on Women and Aging. (1999, November). The Metlife juggling act study: Balancing caregiving with work and the costs involved.)
Resources for Women
- Women In the Middle: Their Parent Care Years, Brody, E.
- Describes and discusses the caregiving women’s subjective feelings, experiences, and problems, and the effects on their mental and physical well-being, life styles, family relationships, and vocational activities. These case studies and narratives present an insider’s view of the harsh and sometimes joyful experience of caregiving.
- “Is caring for aging parents unfair to women?” Forbes Article detailing:
- Advocating between siblings
- Caregiver contracts
- Specific division of labor
- Building a caregiver contract
Resources for Men
- Who Says Men Don’t Care?, James Gambone & Rhonda Travland
- The Reef—Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center support resource for men
- Caregiver Stress Syndrome: What’s Different For Men?, Caring.com
“Care is a state in which something does matter; it is the source of human tenderness”
Rollo May, psychologist
“There are only four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers.”
Rosalyn Carter, Former First Lady