It is without question that the number of unpaid caregivers in the U.S. has risen dramatically through the years. A recent study published in June of 2015 by Population and Development Review gave us some insight to the reality of what unpaid caregivers (generally spouses, children and family members) are facing.
Unpaid Caregivers by the Numbers
- 1.2 billion hours of caregiving are provided by unpaid caregivers each week
- 20% of unpaid caregivers are age 80 and older and caring for those in the same age bracket
- There are more women in the role of being the main unpaid caregiver than men
- We would need 30.5 million full-time caregivers to provide care if we had no unpaid caregivers
- The approximate age that we begin to receive more caregiving than we are providing caregiving is 77
- It is estimated that $691 billion of the care is provided by unpaid caregivers each year
- Unpaid caregivers tend to put their own health and well-being at risk, taking care of their loved one first
Caregiver burnout is inevitable if you are the main caregiver for your loved one, 24/7. Unpaid caregivers don’t get time off unless someone else steps in to help and even then, the time is minimal.
5 Ways In Home Caregiving Can Help
- Costs – Professional companies, such as Accredited, have the expertise needed to submit costs to insurance companies and most in-home caregiving is covered by insurance; including Medicare and supplemental insurances. You have may have some costs involved, such as co-pays and deductibles.
- Special Training – Professional caregivers are specifically trained for special needs, emergencies, and more. This helps you to feel comfortable that they are able to keep your loved one safe.
- Avoid Theft – Unfortunately we often hear about how unpaid caregivers have taken advantage of being in a home alone; theft can be a problem. Many who need caregiving are on medications and prescription theft is not uncommon.
- Time for Yourself – Having a regularly scheduled caregiver to be with your loved one can allow you, as the main caregiver, to have time for yourself. Knowing that you will have a reprieve from the constant task of caregiving can not only help you but can help keep a loved one in their home.
- Safety – Professional caregiving allows for a safety net by having a trained eye to notice things that, as a constant caregiver, you may be too tired and hurried to take notice of during your day to day chores. It can also provide help in making sure those who suffer from sundowning and are awake in the middle of the night are safe while you sleep.
You don’t have to be alone in caring for a loved one. If you are one of the many unpaid caregivers who are trying to do it all yourself, it’s time to see how easy it is to bring in professional caregiving help.
Cited Works: Population and Development Review, June 2015, Volume 41, Issue 2 Who takes care of whom in the United States?
Photo by VinothChandar