Family caregivers provide an estimated $6 billion in unpaid care to older adults in Maryland each year. AARP’s Maryland State Office commissioned this survey to explore the views and experiences of AARP members on caregiving issues. Key findings include the following:
Two in five AARP members in Maryland are or have been caregivers.
- 124,856 members are providing care right now, and another 232,003 members have provided care in the past.
- 49% of current caregivers have been providing care for 5 years or more.
Caregiving has affected the work life and personal life of both current and former caregivers.
- 3 in 4 caregivers who have been employed while providing care say they have gone in late to work, left early from work, or took time off during the workday to provide care.
- 70% say they have less time for family and friends; 67% have given up vacations, hobbies, or social activities; 53% percent have less time to exercise; and 58% say that providing care is extremely or very stressful emotionally.
Information and services to support caregiving efforts would be helpful.
- Most AARP members say that information about available community resources for caregivers along with information on keeping the person they care for safe at home or activities they can do together would be extremely or very helpful.
- 6 in 10 would find it helpful to have assistance in finding accurate medical information and having short breaks from caregiving tasks.
A total of 1,270 AARP members in Maryland responded to this mail survey, fielded August 15-September 26, 2008. Responses were weighted to reflect the age distribution of AARP members in the state. (20 pages)