Study: 1 in 5 care for an adult in home setting

Share this content:

One-fifth of the adult U.S. population gives unpaid care to an adult, according to a new study released Tuesday by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. That equates to more than 44 million people in 23 million households caring for a family member at a value of $257 billion per year.

The assistance considered was anything from balancing a checkbook to helping with activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing and toileting.

Nearly half of the caregivers help for eight or fewer hours per week, while more than 1 in 6 (17%) say they provide more than 40 hours of care per week. The study encompassed telephone polling of more than 6,139 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Although women still dominate as the most common caregivers, the percentage of men as caregivers has risen to 39% from just 25% found in earlier studies.

Researchers said 3 in 5 caregivers curtail their workday to provide help, while 17% took time off, 10% switched from full-time to part-time work and 10% left the workplace entirely. Study sponsors said they hope he figures lead to legislative assistance for caregivers.