Q: I am reading and hearing more and more about family caregivers and family caregiving. Do you have any facts or figures about this subject?
A: You are hearing more because the need for this type of care is growing every day.
During any given year, one-third of the U.S. population provides care for chronically ill, disabled or aged family members or friends. A total of 78 percent of adults living out in the community and in need of long-term care depend on family and friends as their only source of help.
Both men and women serve as caregivers. However, the typical caregiver is described as a 49-year-old woman who is married with a family of her own and employed outside of the home. She is usually caring for a widowed mother. Of the male caregivers, 60 percent also hold a full-time job.
The impact of this growing need is far-reaching. It is felt not only by the caregiver but also the caregiver’s family. Businesses feel the impact through indirect costs.
One in five caregivers had to either move in with the loved one or move the loved one in with their family to cut expenses. Forty-seven percent of working caregivers indicate that an increase in caregiving expenses has caused them to deplete all or most of their savings.
The caregiver’s family also feels the impact as it disrupts the normal pattern of family behavior. It creates resentment and disappointment because the caregiver is not always available in the home.
Caregiving also affects the health of the caregiver. The stress of family caregiving for people with dementia has been shown to impact a person’s immune system for up to three years after their caregiving ends. This increases the caregiver’s chances of developing a chronic illness. Forty to seventy percent of family caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression.
U.S businesses can lose as much as $34 billion each year because of employees’ needs for unplanned time off.
In answer to a question about caregivers, I believe it was first lady Rosalynn Carter who said there are only four kinds of people: those who have been caregivers, those who are caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who need a caregiver.
To learn about services available or support groups for caregivers call Senior Concerns at 497-0189. Senior Concerns also has a mobile unit that can come to your business or operating location and provide information about caregiving programs. For more information, email janet@seniorconcerns.org .
Saturday and Sunday: Conejo Recreation and Park District’s Summer Arts & Crafts Festival, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Borchard Community Center, 190 Reino Road, Newbury Park. For information call 381-2791 or email boc@crpd.org .
March 10: Live Well, Age Well Series Program — “East West Medicine: Best of Both Worlds,” 5:30 p.m. at Grant R. Brimhall Library, 1401 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. For information call 381-7362 or email councilonaging@toaks.org .
March 12: Ventura County Law Library’s Lawyers at the Library Speaker Series. Attorney Janet L. Mertes will present “Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.” 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Ventura County Law Library, 800 S. Victoria Ave. in Ventura. For information call 642-8982.
March 12: “Clutter Here, Clutter There, Clutter Everywhere.” 1:30-3 p.m. at Westlake Village Civic Center, 31200 E. Oak Crest Drive in Westlake Village. For information call the Senior Advocate’s office at 495-6250.
March 14: Our Community House of Hope fundraiser. 7 p.m. at The Westlake Village Inn’s Provence Room, 32001 Agoura Road, Westlake Village. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at http://www.ourhouseofhope.org . For information call 492-6244.
More …

Print Friendly, PDF & Email