As I continue to digest this report, I found it appropriate they have a section titled "Caregiving: Complex and Challenging" Yep! No argument from me on this one and I think every caregiver would agree those are two words that work for caregiving. Again I love that this study points out how caregivers are NOT alone!
The report again pointed out this is only about nonprofessional caregivers, but adds some very interesting statistics on caregiving. 23% reported caring for someone who lives on their own, 37% together with the care recipient, and 17% in a care facility. the remained were in 'other living arrangements'.
They then added (my caps) "CAREGIVING IS A LABOR OF LOVE THAT IS COMMONPLACE, COMPLEX, AND CHALLENGING". How very, very true and something all of us caregivers again can agree on I am sure.
They also point out (again my caps) "CAREGIVERS ARE SHOULDERING AN ENORMOUS EMOTIONAL BURDEN." 72% of caregivers reported feeling worried and 64% reported "experiencing significant ups and downs from providing care." They also reported "Many (although they didn't give a percentage) caregivers also believe part of their role is to make sure the recipient does not feel like a burden on them, even when they might be."
They point out "…when first becoming a caregiver, there is a step learning curve — often with minimal training or guidance." Heck, in my case I'd have given a king's ransom for even minimal training!
They report there are 40 million family and friend caregivers, which makes up approximately 16% of the US adult population! That's a whole lot of caregivers for sure! They noted some 20 million folks became caregivers last year alone. They also point out that as 75 million Boomers move through their seventies "Caregiving will become even more common."
49% of the caregivers were caring for parents, 24% for a spouse, 15% for another relative, 8% a parent-in-law, and 4% for a friend.
Elder care (someone over 50) was the most common with over half the surveyed caregivers caring for a parent or in-law, caregiving for a mother was three times more likely than a father, as well as for a mother-in-law versus a father-in-law.
Plus 83% of sandwiched caregivers say they are 'struggling to find balance between caregiving and other responsibilities". I think ALL caregivers struggle with this myself!
I'll stop this post with the Roselyn Carter's quote on caregiving, they highlight. She said "There are only four types of people in this world: those who have been caregivers; those who currently are caregivers; those who will be caregivers; and those who will need care."
More to come and in the meantime
Strength, courage, and peace!