A Public Health Priority
The health of caregivers is at risk.
Informal or unpaid caregivers (family members or friends) are the backbone of long-term care provided in people’s homes. While some aspects of caregiving may be rewarding, caregivers can also be at increased risk for negative health consequences. These may include stress, depression, difficulty maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and staying up to date on recommended clinical preventive services.
Caregivers provide care to people who need some degree of ongoing assistance with everyday tasks on a regular or daily basis. The recipients of care can live either in residential or institutional settings, range from children to older adults, and have chronic illnesses or disabling conditions.
Approximately 25% of U.S. adults 18 years of age and older reported providing care or assistance to a person with a long-term illness or disability in the past 30 days, according to 2009 data from CDC’s state-based Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. This is termed “informal or unpaid care” because it is provided by family or friends rather than by paid caregivers. The one year value of this unpaid caregiver activity was estimated as $450 million dollars in 2009. Continue reading from the CDC
Center for Senior Activities (Town of Westport)
Connecticut State Department of Aging and Disability Services (CT State Department)
Caring for Yourself When Caring for Others (CDC)
Caregiving for the Elderly (American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy)
Caregivers (National Council on Aging)
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR)