Caregiving and Health Care
Up to 70% of family caregivers manage medications for their loved ones.
Caregiver Action Network (National Family Caregivers Association)
Insight into the activities, concerns and interests of higher-burden family caregivers, October 2012.
22% of family caregivers say they need help communicating with physicians.
Focus group research suggests that family caregivers do not recognize that public policy has a direct impact on their day-to-day lives. Many are uncomfortable even thinking there might be a connection.
Over 90% of family caregivers become more proactive about seeking resources and skills they need to assist their care recipient after they have self-identified.
National Family Caregivers Association, Survey of Self-Identified Family Caregivers, 2001.
83% of self-identified family caregivers believe their self-awareness led to increased confidence when talking to healthcare professionals about their loved one’s care.
For over 75% of family caregivers, it was the act of helping their loved one with personal care that contributed to their self-identification.
For 60% of family caregivers, their loved one’s diagnosis and their interaction with the health care system made them aware that they were family caregivers.
State by State Statistics
The economic value of family caregiving is detailed here in a state-by-state comparison of the number of family caregivers in the country, the number of hours they spend on caregiving responsibilities, and the market value of those services. As noted above, the most recent estimate of the value of family caregivers’ services is $306 billion annually. This report is based on the state-by-state statistics for 2004 and prepared in August of 2006 by NFCA and the Family Caregiver Alliance’s National Center of Caregiving in conjunction with Peter S. Arno, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The data and methodology are based on Dr. Arno’s previous study, Economic Value of Informal Caregiving: 2004.
Note: Survey statistics sometimes seem to contradict each other. That’s because each study or survey has its own methodology, its own set of variables, data sources, etc. It doesn’t mean one is right and the other is wrong. It does mean you need to understand how the survey was developed and constructed. Comparing Survey Stats and Understanding Why They Differ explains this in more detail.
More information and helpful links:
Rice University, Health and Retirement Study; National Institute of Aging study conducted by the University of Michigan, 1992-2004; Disability and American Families: 2000; Census 2000 Special Reports, July 2005; Evercare Survey of the Economic Downturn and Its Impact on Family Caregiving; National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare. March 2009; Valuing the Invaluable: The Economic Value of Family Caregiving, 2008 Update. AARP; Caregiving in the United States; National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP; November 2009; Drs. Janice-Kiecolt Glaser and Ronald Glaser, “Chronic stress and age-related increases in the proinflammatory cytokine IL-6”; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 30, 2003; Elissa S. Epel, Dept of Psychiatry, Univ of Calif, SF, et al; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dec 7, 2004, Vol 101, No. 49; Evercare Study of Caregivers in Decline: A Close-Up Look at Health Risks of Caring for a Loved One; National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare. 2006; MetLife Study of Working Caregivers and Employer Health Costs; National Alliance for Caregiving and MetLife Mature Market Institute. February 2010; Zarit, S. (2006). Assessment of Family Caregivers: A Research Perspective; How Do Family Caregivers Fare? A Closer Look at their Experiences. Center on Aging Society, 2005; Nicholas D. Christakis, Professor, Health-care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston and Suzanne Salamon, M.D., Associate Chief, Geriatric Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston; New England Journal of Medicine, Feb. 16, 2006; MetLife Study of Working Caregivers and Employer Health Costs; National Alliance for Caregiving and MetLife Mature Market Institute, February 2010; Caregiving in the United States;National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP, November 2009; Care.com and National Family Caregivers Association: State of Care Index, 2009; MetLife Caregiving Cost Study: Productivity Losses to U.S.; MetLife Mature Market Institute and National Alliance for Caregiving Business, July 2006; MetLife Study of Working Caregivers and Employer Health Costs; National Alliance for Caregiving and MetLife Mature Market Institute, February 2010; Job-based Health Insurance in the Balance: Employer Views of Coverage in the Workplace, Collins, S.R. et al, The Commonwealth Fund; Commonwealth Fund Supplement to the 2003 National Organization Study, March 2004.