Lake County Council on Aging Blog

Caregivers

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

If you are acting as a caregiver for a loved one, you are certainly not alone. Caregivers can be either gender, any age, and come from cities, suburbs, or rural areas. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, 29% of American adults served as family caregivers in 2011—that is about 66 million people. Most caregivers are female, although the number of male caregivers seems to be on the rise.

About 2/3 of family caregivers work full-time outside the home. The number of caregivers is anticipated to go up, with 2/3 of the American population expecting to be caregivers sometime in the future.

Among the caregiving population, there are several different groups. Perhaps the most prevalent are people in the “sandwich generation”—those taking care of older relatives as well as minor children at home. Nationally, there are also almost a million children under 18 caring for a sick sibling, parent, or aging relative, which can result in poor school attendance, depression, and neglect of the child’s needs. Many caregivers of older adults are older themselves; the average age of a person caring for someone over 65 is age 63. About 2 ½ million grandparents are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren. 5-7 million people are “long-distance caregivers,” who live a significant distance from the person they are caring for. And, finally, there is an ever-growing number of private home care companies that provide a range of caregiving services for a fee.

As the United States ages, caregiving will become more and more a part of many people’s lives. The Lake County Council on Aging works along with caregivers to keep their aging loved ones safely at home for as long as possible. If you are a caregiver in need of help, or know someone who is, please contact the Council on Aging to discuss options and services.