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Savvy Senior

Compelling Statistics Support the Need for Home Care Assistance

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Published on Tue, May 11, 2010 by Aimee C. Tillar

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· Nearly 25% of all American adults currently provide daily companionship or assistance to a parent or older loved one.

· Approximately 60% of family caregivers are women.

· The typical family caregiver is a 46-year-old woman caring for her widowed mother who does not live with her. She is married and employed.

· An estimated 88% of married individuals report their spouse as their key caregiver.

· Approximately 37% of family caregivers spend more than 40 hours a week providing care, and 30% spend 20 to 39 hours per week doing so.

· Nearly seven in 10 (69%) family caregivers spend less time with family and friends since becoming caregivers.

· Approximately 62% of family caregivers who work have had to make some adjustments to their work life, from reporting late to work to giving up work entirely.

· Nine in 10 family caregivers (91%) surveyed - all in fair/poor health - suffer from depression, and eight in 10 (81%) of those with depression report that care giving had made their depression worse.

· A wife's hospitalization increased her husband's chances of dying within a month by 35%. A husband's hospitalization boosted his wife's mortality risk by 44%.

· Extreme stress can take as much as 10 years off a family caregiver's life.

· Family caregivers report having a chronic condition at more than twice the rate of non-caregivers.

 

Having been the primary caregiver for my terminally ill father, I know very well how difficult it can be to entrust another person to help shoulder some of that responsibility.  The statistics outlined above, however, illustrate just how important it is to find a high quality provider of Respite or Home Care Services if you are in that role, and allow them to support you and your family during this difficult time.

 

Caring for a loved one with profound health issues or simply the progressive changes associated with the aging process is a very draining experience.  It takes time and energy away from other facets of the care givers life – all too often the very activities that once provided a social outlet and a fun diversion from the hectic lives we all live.  Arranging for a Home Care provider to relieve the family caregiver, allowing them time to attend to their own needs and rejuvenate it very important. 

 

There’s a phase that is often used among parents of young children that the quality of time shared is more important than quantity of time and this translates as well to the task of family care giving.  By giving yourself permission to take time away and invest in your own well being, you are in fact giving your loved one a much better care giving experience.  Providing them with a well qualified Home Care provider in your absence also serves to widen their companionship and social interaction experiences and is a nice change of pace for all involved.

 

Source(s)
- National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP: Caregiving in the U.S. (2004) 
- U.S. Census Bureau: 65+ in the United States (2005)
- Evercare: Evercare Study of Caregivers in Decline: A Close-up Look at the Health Risks

  of Caring for a Loved One ( www.evercarehealthplans.com, 2006)
- New England Journal of Medicine (2006)
- Peter S. Arno: Economic Value of Informal Caregiving (2006)


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