Study Provides Snapshot of Family Caregiver Characteristics, Trends, and Circumstances

December 14, 2018 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​​Over a 16-year period, family caregivers made up 85% of primary caregivers to community-dwelling older adults, provided an average of at least 30 hours per week of care, and cared for incrementally younger family members, according to a study published in the December 2018 issue of The Gerontologist. The study analyzed data from 1999 through 2015, and one of the biggest changes over that time was care duration—the percentage of caregivers providing care for 4 or more years increased from 46% in 1999 to 64% in 2015. Other trends include a decrease in the percentage of caregivers who experienced substantial caregiving-related emotional, physical, and financial difficulty; an increase in the use of respite care (from 9% in 1999 to 16% in 2015), especially by caregivers of an individual with dementia (13% to 27%); and an increase in adults age 65 to 74 years needing care (28% to 42%).

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