Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Shortage of Family Caregivers Will Have Major Ramifications for Elders And Their Families

To access services in Rock County,Wisconsin contact the Rock County Council on Aging Information and Assistance Specialist at (608) 758-8455. Or go to the Council on Aging Web site . You also might refer to the Rock County Senior Directory which is located on the Web site.

As the number of households providing care to older adults soars, families are getting smaller. The 1990 U.S. Census found 11 potential caregivers for each person needing care. By 2050, the number of potential caregivers per recipient is projected to plummet to four.

The shortage of family caregivers will have major ramifications for families, communities and health care providers.

Caregiver statistics

  • 80 percent of all home care is provided by family caregivers.

  • Caregiving is no longer predominantly a woman’s issue. Men now make up 44 percent of the caregiving population.

  • Over half of all caregivers are in their prime working years. Fifty-four percent are between 35 and 64 years old.

  • More than one quarter (26.6 percent) of the adult population has provided care to a family member or friend during the past year. Based on current census data, that translated into more than 54 million people.

  • More people enter nursing homes because of caregiver burnout rather than an exacerbation of their own condition.
However, people do not readily identify themselves as caregivers. Unless a sudden accident or illness intervenes, the caregiver role evolves over time and gradually turns into a major time-consuming responsibility that can be (very)stressful.

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