National Caregivers Day is celebrated on the third Friday in February: February 17 this year.
Caregivers provide personal care and physical and emotional support to those who need it most
There are different types of caregivers that are not limited to the health sector: family caregivers, professional caregivers, independent caregivers, private caregivers and informal caregivers.
Unfortunately, some of them are not financially rewarded for their work, which in many cases is selfless.
For this reason, many organizations and agencies established this day to recognize and appreciate caregivers worldwide.
National Caregivers Day: Facts You Didn’t Know
- One in seven adults in the United States provides some type of unpaid care to another adult.
- The average age of caregivers caring for a person age 65 or older is 63.
- 70.7% of all family caregivers are women, while 29.3% are men.
- The average age of an employed family caregiver is 47 years.
- The most common ethnicity of family caregivers is white (56.9%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (18.6%), black or African American (10.1%), and Asian (8.6%).
- In 2021, women earned 98% of what men earned.
- 7% of all family caregivers are LGBT.
- According to a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index report, caregivers spend six days a month grooming, feeding, dressing, bathing and walking.
- 13 days a month commuting, cleaning, doing laundry, checking medications, shopping and cooking special meals for their patient.
- In addition, 13 hours a month are spent coordinating visits with physicians, researching symptoms and illnesses, and managing finances.
- The National Alliance for Caregiving and the American Association of Retired Persons report that, in 2020, approximately 53 million caregivers in the U.S. cared for an adult or child without pay.
- While most caregivers care for one adult, approximately 15% care for two adults and 3% care for three or more adults.
- The Institute on Aging reports that more than ¾ of caregivers are women who spend 50% more time providing essential services than men.
How Much an Unpaid Caregiver Spends
According to an AARP study, an unpaid family caregiver can expect to spend nearly 20% of their personal income on helping a loved one.
One study found that family caregivers spent an average of nearly $7,000 a year of their own money and nearly $12,000 for caregivers who lived an hour or more away from the person they cared for.
Hispanic/Latino caregivers often have to spend thousands of dollars more of their own money to perform caregiving tasks than caregivers of other ethnicities because it is less expensive than obtaining professional home health care.
Genworth estimated the average monthly cost of housekeeping services such as light housekeeping, meal preparation and errands at $4,000.
Compared to the cost of a home care aide, someone with medical training who can help the patient with bathing or other personal needs, it was an additional $200 a month, amounting to more than $50,000 a year.
Although more than 200 state laws have been passed, much remains to be done
It is estimated that close to 40 million people are unpaid family caregivers.
In recent years, some states have led the way in enacting laws that make the reality of family caregivers visible, providing them with some benefits, but it is clear that much remains to be done.
My Health Fair joins in the celebration of National Caregivers Day by highlighting the importance and impact of their work, which is often done selflessly.