National Family Caregivers Month
With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, our hearts and minds are turning to the individuals in our lives for whom we are most grateful. Family caregivers are one often overlooked group of people who deserve our gratitude. For this reason, November is known as National Family Caregivers Month.
Family care providers are a diverse group representing almost every age, gender, race, and ethnicity. Together, they share the challenges and rewards of supporting a loved one in need. However, the condition and care requirements of their loved ones, as well as their own circumstances, personal strengths, and resources, are all factors that make the caregiving experience different for each individual.
Raising Awareness for Caregivers Across the Country
At Visiting Angels®, we strive to celebrate the care providers around us each and every day. For National Family Caregivers month, we aim to raise awareness for how much time and love goes into the caregiving process.
Below, we’ve highlighted five facts about caregiving.
- Caregivers are honored by the President of the United States each November
A tradition that was first started in the 1990s, National Family Caregivers Month has been marked by a succession of Presidential Proclamations. Presidents from Clinton to Trump have paid tribute to the selfless Americans who tirelessly dedicate themselves to improving their loved ones’ quality of life. These Proclamations have helped encourage a greater appreciation of the individuals in our country who have made caregiving an essential part of their lives.
- There are over 40 million family caregivers in the US
An AARP report estimated that 43.5 million individuals living in the U.S. provided unpaid care for a loved one. Over 30% of these individuals fell into the age group of 50-64, around 25% were aged 35-40, and about 25% were between 18 and 34. Surprisingly, nearly 1 in 10 were aged 75 or older and often provided care for a spouse with demanding needs.
- Family care providers typically dedicate a significant portion of their time to their duties
The subjects of the AARP’s report had, on average, been in their role for four years total, although a full quarter had been caregiving for five years or longer. This study calculated that caregivers spend an average of 24.4 hours per week providing care. About 25% were full-time caregivers, dedicating 41 or more hours each week to their loved ones’ needs. Those caring for a spouse or partner, who tended to be in the older age bracket themselves, had particularly time-intensive duties at an average of 44.6 hours per week.
- One in three family care providers act as their loved one’s full source of support
While many family care providers have the opportunity to share the burden of care with an unpaid aide, professional care provider, or housekeeper, this is not true for all. A full third of family caregivers meet the needs of their loved ones without any outside assistance.
- Family care providers experience significant stress as a result of their role
Stress and strain are something almost all care providers deal with, and many also go through burnout. The stress of caregiving can be physical, mental, emotional, and even financial. In fact, 18% of caregivers have reported experiencing financial strain, often as a result of cutting back work hours in order to make time for their caregiving responsibilities.
If you’re one of the over 40 million individuals in our country providing unpaid care for a loved one, it’s important to remember you’re not alone. Visiting Angels is here to help you find balance in your life while ensuring your loved one receives high-quality care at all times.