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Family caregiving statistics
FAMILY CAREGIVING STATISTICS
More than one quarter (26.6%) of the adult population has provided care for a chronically ill,
disabled or aged family member or friend during the past year. Based on current census data,
that translates into more than 50 million people. Source: National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) Random
Sample Survey of 1000 Adults, Funded by CareThere.com, Summer, 2000.
Caregiving is no longer predominantly a women's issue. Men now make up 44% of the
caregiving population. Source: National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) Random Sample Survey of 1000 Adults,
Funded by CareThere.com, Summer, 2000.
The value of the services family caregivers provide for "free" is estimated to be $257 billion a
year. Source: Peter S. Arno, "Economic Value of Informal Caregiving," presented at the American Association of Geriatric
Virtually one half of the US population has a chronic condition. Of these 41 million were limited in
their daily activities. Twelve million are unable to go to school, to work, or to live independently.
Source: Chronic Care in America (Institute for Health & Aging, Univ. of CA/SF for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) 1996
People over 85 years of age are the fastest growing segment of the population. Half of them
need some help with personal care. Source: US Bureau of the Census Statistical Brief, Sixty Five Plus in the United
Elderly caregivers with a history of chronic illness themselves who are experiencing caregiving
related stress have a 63% higher mortality rate than their non-caregiving peers. Source: Journal of the
American Medical Association, December 15, 1999, Vol. 282, No. 23.
The pool of family caregivers is dwindling. In 1990 there were 11 potential caregivers for each
person needing care. In 2050 that ratio will be 4:1. Source: Chronic Care in America - as above
Sixty-one percent (61%) of "intense" family caregivers (those providing at least 21 hours of care
a week) have suffered from depression. Some studies have shown that caregiver stress inhibits
healing. Source: National Family Caregivers Association/Fortis Long Term Care (Caregiving Across the Life Cycle) 1998;
Lancet 1995;346 (Slowing of Wound Healing by Psychological Stress - Kiecolt-Glaser, JK et al)
Heavy duty caregivers, especially spousal caregivers, do not get consistent help from other family
members. One study has shown that as many as three fourths of these caregivers are "going it
alone". Source: Caregiving Across the Life Cycle - as above
Approximately 80% of home care services are provided by family caregivers. Source: US General
Accounting Office (GAO/HEHS 95-26, "Long-Term Care: Diverse, Growing Population Includes Mil ions of Americans of All Ages")
A recent study calculated that American businesses loses between $11 billion and $29 billion each
year due to employees’ need to care for loved ones 50 years of age and older. Source: National
Alliance for Caregiving/Met Life (Met Life Study of Employer Costs for Working Caregivers)
Fifty nine percent of the adult population either is or expects to be a family caregiver. Source:
National Family Caregivers Association (Random Sample Survey of 1,000 Adults Sponsored by Aleve)
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