What is a Caregiver?
A caregiver—sometimes called an informal caregiver—is an unpaid individual (for example, a spouse, partner, family member, friend, or neighbor) involved in assisting others with activities of daily living and/or medical tasks. Formal caregivers are paid care providers providing care in one's home or in a care setting (day care, residential facility, long-term care facility). For the purposes of the present fact sheet, displayed statistics generally refer to caregivers of adults.
Caregivers in the U.S.?
- Approximately 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]
- About 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]
- The majority of caregivers (82%) care for one other adult, while 15% care for 2 adults, and 3% for 3 or more adults. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]
- Approximately 39.8 million caregivers provide care to adults (aged 18+) with a disability or illness or 16.6% of Americans. [Coughlin, J. (2010). Estimating the Impact of Caregiving and Employment on Well-Being: Outcomes & Insights in Health Management.]
- About 15.7 million adult family caregivers care for someone who has Alzheimer's disease or other dementia. [Alzheimer's Association. (2015). 2015 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures.]
Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapter
Karen Tennyson with the Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapter advised with nearly 600,000 unpaid Illinois caregivers providing 670 million hours of care to people with Alzheimer's disease, we they address the needs of the caregiver simultaneaously with those of the care recipient to improve their quality of life. Anyone in need of emotional support, tools and referrals to assist caregivers can contact the Alzheimer's Associations 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900. The association offers a full complement of educational programming provided in-person or accessible via the web or phone. Karen stated, "our early-stage, young onset and caregiver support services provide encouragement, information and empowerment while allowing for a safe place to share the caregiving experience".
Karen stated, "As a member of the Illinois Chapter team, a large portion of my efforts center on helping caregivers and families find their way through Alzheimer’s disease and the journey of caregiving. Our Care Navigation service enables the caregiver to focus on a variety of practical issues and examine the emotional components of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. Together, we develop an individualized action plan that addresses the caregiver’s specific needs and goals for present and future caring. To assist with fulfilling the action plan steps, I provide caregivers with resource referrals, education, tools and support during and after the appointment. The appointment lasts about 90 minutes and can be done in person, via Skype or over the phone. This service is free of charge."
For assistance please call the Alzheimer's Associations 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900. Also explore their website for additional information at www.alz.org/Illinois .
Great reads for Caregivers: (all articles pulled from Today's Caregiver eNewsletter)