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Caregiving in the United States Report 2020

One in five Americans has served as caregivers over the last year for both children and adults. That number has increased significantly since 2015, from 43.5 million individuals taking on the responsibility to 53.0 million. Also increasing is the number of people under one’s care.

Twenty-four percent are taking care of two or more recipients, suggesting that the nation is filled with individuals that step up to provide unpaid care for family, friends, and neighbors during times of need. Several factors could be causing this increase, including an aging baby boomer population; limitations or workforce shortages in the health care or long-term services and supports formal care systems; increased efforts by states to facilitate home- and community-based services; an increasing number of Americans who are self-identifying that their daily activities are considered “caregiving;” and, of course, a combination of all of the above.

Demographically speaking, caregiving occurs among all generations, racial/ethnic groups, income or educational levels, family types, gender identities and sexual orientations. Most caregivers are adults caring for a relative, such as a parent or a parent-in-law, spouse or partner, grandparent or grandparent-in-law, or adult child.

Another significant change since 2015 is that many of those being cared for report having greater health and functional needs, with caregivers more likely to report long-term physical conditions, emotional or mental health issues, and memory problems. There is a significant financial strain on caregivers, and policymakers are concerned the current situation is not sustainable with the care gap looming on the horizon.

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Post By Ken Shafton (1,696 Posts)