Caregiving may be a year-round role, but since 2015, National Caregivers Day has been a day to stop and recognize those caregivers in our communities who devote many thankless hours to caring for older adults.
“Paid and unpaid caregivers are both essential to the health and well-being of our communities and our economy,” said Jennifer Olsen, DrPh, CEO of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers. “In recognition of the incredible sacrifice, hard work and compassion of millions of caregivers across America – and the many more who begin their caregiving journey each day – we say thank you.”
So, in honor of National Caregivers Day on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, take the time to learn a little more about the role of caregivers in the United States. The more we know about their sacrifices, the more we can all appreciate these unsung heroes across the country.
National Caregivers Day was created in 2015 by the Provider’s Association for Home Health & Hospice Agencies (PAHHHA) as a way to recognize caregivers.
One-fourth of adults in the United States provided care for someone with a long-term illness or disability in the last month.1
53 million U.S. caregivers provided unpaid care for an adult or infant in 2020.2
15% of caregivers are responsible for two adults, and 3% of caregivers provide care for three or more adults.2
The average caregiver in the United States is a woman, age 49, who is responsible for providing approximately 20 hours each week of unpaid care to an older parent.3
Women caregivers have two or three times higher rates of emotional distress than those who don’t serve as a caregiver.3
Employees’ caregiving responsibilities are expensive to businesses—costing employers $17.1 billion in lost productivity.4
Adults who cared for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders devoted 84 hours of care per week on average—more than two full-time jobs.5
Approximately 60% of caregivers between age 50 and 64 are also working full-time or part-time jobs.6
An estimated 20% of Americans provided help with medical or daily living needs to an adult or a child with special needs last year.7
The number of unpaid caregivers in 2020 – 53 million – increased by nearly 10 million since 2015.7
Nearly 12% of parents in the United States who have minor children also provide care for an adult.8
- National Alliance for Caregiving and the American Association of Retired Persons
- Family Caregiver Alliance, 2009 National Policy Statement. https://www.caregiver.org/resource/caregiving/
- Family Caregiver Alliance, “Caregivers at Risk,” https://www.caregiver.org/resource/caregiving/
- AARP. Beyond 50.03: A Report to the Nation on Independent Living and Disability. https://www.caregiver.org/resource/caregiving/
- 2020 National Alliance on Caregiving report
- Pew Research Center