What does providing care to a family member entail?

A survey published in November 2009 by the National Alliance of Caregiving in collaboration with AARP, revealed the following:

  • 65% had been giving care for 1 or more years and 15% had been caregivers for 10 years or more. 1
  • 48% of caregivers of adults were employed full-time, while 10% were employed only part-time. 2
  • 69% of working caregivers of adults reported having to make changes in their work situation. Most typically, such changes related to cutting back on hours worked: 65% of such caregivers reported going in late, leaving early, and/or taking time off work. 3

The NAC study also found that caregiving results in physical strain, emotional stress, reduced time for friends and other family members, and financial hardship. The impact of caregiving on any given individual varies depending on the level of care being provided, with 14% reporting a high degree of physical strain,4 31% reporting that they were highly stressed,5 52% reporting reduced time for family and friends,6 and 13% reporting a high degree of financial hardship.7


1 “Caregiving in the U.S. 2009,” (n.p.: National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP, November 2009), 20, figure 14. Internet, August 17, 2010. Available: http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/il/caregiving_09_fr.pdf.
2 Ibid, 53, figure 49.
3 Ibid, 54, figure 50.
4 Ibid, 49, figure 44.
5 Ibid, 50, figure 45.
6 Ibid, 51, figure 46.
7 Ibid, 51, figure 47.