responsibility falls most heavily upon women
An aging population and
rapid increase in the number of Americans who act as caregivers to
an elderly parent or relative is driving demand for in-home care in
the United States. According to Homewatch International, the caregiving responsibility falls most heavily upon women.
50 million Americans are now caregivers," said Homewatch
International President Leann Reynolds. "As that number
grows, we're seeing that women bear most of the burden of
being the primary caregiver and are increasingly turning to
companies such as ours to help ease that burden."
released Caregiving in America report from The Caregiving Project
for Older Americans revealed that eight in ten adults who receive
long-term care at home get their care from family, friends and
And, according to the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services (HHS) Administration on Aging (AoA), a daughter or
daughter-in-law is most likely to assume the role of caregiver in
the absence of a spouse who can provide care. That's followed by the
granddaughter, and finally the son.
to the cultural role of women as caregivers, Reynolds said numerous
demographic and societal factors are combining to create the
"perfect storm" in caregiving, with women at the eye of that storm.
Families are smaller, most adult children don't live in the same
communities as their parents, and far more women are juggling work
and child rearing along with caregiving duties.
caregiver of a loved one can take an enormous toll on the family
caregiver, the family, and the quality of those relationships,"
said her company has found that caregivers are often overwhelmed to
the point of sacrificing their own health. She suggested that
caregivers find a way to share responsibilities and discuss
caregiving options with family members, community outreach
organizations or professional in-home care providers.
notes that families are the mainstay of long-term caregiving in the
U.S., and the private sector will play a vital roll in helping to
ease the burden of home caregiving. However, federal efforts aimed
at dealing with the looming caregiving crisis are underway, and the
AoA is guiding the work of The National Aging Services Network to
develop systems of support for caregivers.