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October 29, 2021

The care needs of caregivers

Caregivers dedicate themselves to caring for others, but they need care and support too. Learn about caregiving, caregivers' unique responsibilities and challenges, and benefits for those with additional full- or part-time jobs.

This National Family Caregivers Month, we'd like to recognize the 1 in 5 adults who are caregivers, for their dedication to regularly providing care for a family member, friend, or neighbor with a health problem or disability.1

While these individuals each experience their role differently, together they substantially contribute to America's health, social, economic, and long-term services and supports (LTSS) systems.1 Caregivers fulfill the important duty of supporting, encouraging, and advocating for their care recipients, and their importance will only increase over time. As Americans get older, more caregivers will be needed to provide care. The number of those at least 65 years old is expected to double from 2000 to 2030—to 71 million.2

Hear a caregiver's personal experience firsthand:

 

While focusing on others—managing multiple priorities and health emergencies—however, many caregivers often put their own health at risk. They commonly feel strain, stress, and isolation that can lead to notable health concerns. Consider these statistics from AARP1:

  • Only 41% report their health as "excellent" or "very good," and 21% report their health as "fair" or "poor," with 1 in 4 saying that caregiving has worsened their health.
  • Nearly 4 in 10 say their caregiving situation is highly stressful.
  • 1 in 5 say they feel alone.

 

Caregivers who work outside of the home

61% of caregivers maintain full- or part-time employment,3 and working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has made caregiving demands particularly difficult. As a result, 45% say they've considered leaving the workforce due to personal demands and 34% say they've lost critical skills over the last year, compared to 19% and 17% of noncaregivers, respectively.4

 

Learn other challenges for working caregivers

 


With help from their employers, caregiving employees may receive the support and flexibility they need to maintain their health and well-being, and stay with the company. According to AARP, "The lack of support in the workplace has a real effect on retention and turnover—when caregivers have particular benefits at work, they are less likely to stop working altogether."1

Through an employer-paid benefit, AccessHope offers a range of cancer support services such as Cancer Support Team, which helps not only employees but also their caregivers discuss demands and concerns with experienced oncology nurses, wherever they call home.

References
 
1 National Alliance for Caregiving, AARP. Caregiving in the U.S. 2020. https://www.caregiving.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/full-report-caregiving-in-the-united-states-01-21.pdf. Published May 2020. Accessed October 14, 2021.
 
2 Caregiving. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. https://www.cdc.gov/aging/caregiving/index.htm. Updated November 25, 2019. Accessed October 21, 2021.
 
3 Roman C, Opthof E, Bane S. How employers and states can support the essential workforce of family caregivers. Center for Health Care Strategies Blog. August 17, 2021. https://www.chcs.org/how-employers-and-states-can-support-the-essential-workforce-of-family-caregivers. Accessed October 21, 2021.
 
4 Brownlee, D. Three ways employers can best support caregivers returning to work. Forbes. July 9, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/danabrownlee/2021/07/09/three-ways-employers-can-best-support-caregivers-returning-to-work. Accessed October 21, 2021.

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