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According to the National Family Caregivers Association and Caregiving in the United States; National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP. November 2009 :
- The typical family caregiver is a 49-year-old woman caring for her widowed 69-year-old mother who does not live with her. She is married and employed.
- Approximately 66% of family caregivers are women.
- More than 37% have children or grandchildren under 18 years old living with them.
Of course, those are generalities and they don't necessarily fit us all. Take me, for example. When I started caring for my senior parents, my dad was still alive, though in the end stage of Parkinsons Disease. I was a widow of about 48 and working from home. I was, and am, definitely a woman. 🙂 And at the time, I had one older daughter at home finishing up college. So about 50-50.
Now, though, I am 58, still a widow, and my senior mom lives with me. My grandkids don't live with me, but I do spend a lot of sweet moments babysitting them. I definitely have fewer matches to those statistics now.
The value of the services family caregivers provide for "free," when caring for older adults, is estimated to be $375 billion a year. That is almost twice as much as is actually spent on homecare and nursing home services combined ($158 billion). per Evercare Survey of the Economic Downturn and Its Impact on Family Caregiving; National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare. March 2009
WOW! Just goes to show how much we are each needed! And that's always a nice feeling!
How about you and your Sandwich Generation family? What do you think of these statistics? We'd love to hear.
And Happy National Family Caregivers Month to ALL of us in AND out of the Sandwich Generation, as we stay busy caring for the elderly parents or other beloved members of our family of all ages, including grandkids and kids with special needs, or husbands in poor health. Whether we match up to the general statistics or not, we are vitally needed. Now that's good news for all of us boomers and seniors!