Senior Care in 2015
The results of Caring.com’s annual Usage and Attitudes Survey are in, and they reveal a wealth of information about the people caring for aging loved ones in the U.S. today and how their caregiving roles affect their lives. From July 8-August 10, 2015, Pretell Market Research conducted a survey that asked Caring.com users a number of questions about their caregiving situations, gathering responses from 2,098 caregivers and older adults caring for themselves. No incentive was offered.
Age of Caregiver
Most survey respondents are in their 50s, 60s and 70s. Caregivers’ average age appears to be trending older, with a rise in 70-something caregivers and fewer in their 50s compared to previous years.
Hours Spent Caregiving Weekly
Q: In a typical week, about how many hours do you personally spend on caregiving tasks and activities?
- Nearly 4 in 10 caregivers (39%) spend more than 30 hours weekly on caregiving tasks – almost the equivalent of a full-time job.
- This figure is up 6% from 2014.
Annual Spending on Caregiving
Q: Approximately how much money have you and other family members spent caring for this person over the last 12 months? Please include out-of-pocket costs for medications, medical bills, in-home care, nursing homes and other caregiving expenses.
- About half of caregivers (48%) surveyed spent over $5,000 on caregiving in the past year.
- Of those, 9% spent $50,000 or more.
Impact of Caregiving on Work
About a third of caregivers (35%) work either full-time, part-time, or are self-employed. Half (52%) are retired.
Q: How, if at all, has your role as a caregiver impacted your job? Please choose all that apply.
- The vast majority of working survey respondents (88%) said caregiving has had a major impact on their day jobs, reporting at least some work-related repercussions stemming from their caregiving responsibilities.
- Two-thirds (65%) said they’re distracted on the job, and more than half (55%) have had to change work schedules due to caregiving.
- Many working caregivers (23%) report arriving to work late, leaving early or missing significant amounts of work (19%), and nearly one in five (19%) said they may need to leave their jobs completely.
Use of Caregiving Technology
Respondents’ use of caregiving products and services (other than direct human help such as paid in-home care) was low, with less than 30% reporting using personal emergency response systems and under 15% using online communication platforms such as Facebook or Skype.
- The most used caregiving technology is the personal emergency response system.
- Still, only 29% of respondents whose loved one lives independently in their own home reported using one, and just 14% of respondents living with the loved one they care for say they use the device.
- The least used caregiver technology among respondents is tele-health remote monitoring technology, with just 3% of carees who live independently using it, and a mere 1% of those living with loved ones.
Loved One in Assisted Living -- Prior Living Situation
About a quarter (24%) of respondents said the loved one they care for lives in an assisted living community.Q: Prior to moving to the community or facility where they currently reside, where did your loved one live?
- Respondents caring for someone living in an assisted living community were a fairly happy bunch, with 50% reporting that they're either “extremely” or “very” satisfied with their loved one's living situation.
- Meanwhile, just 23% of respondents living with the person they're caring for and only 23% whose loved one remains in their own home reported the same satisfaction levels.
What Prompted a Loved One's Move to Assisted Living?
Q: What prompted your loved one to move to a facility?
- At 58%, the most common trigger for a loved one’s move into assisted living was a medical condition or diagnosis.
- The next most common trigger for a move was a caregiver's needs (27%), while 20% reported no specific reason for the move, but said living alone became more and more difficult for their loved one.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
- Find Senior Care Near You
- Caring.com Help Desk
- Free Online Support Groups for Caregivers
- Low-Cost Offline Senior Care Resources
- Organizations Every Caregiver Should Know
- Caregiving Money Matters