The AARP 2014 New Mexico Caregiving Survey of Registered Voters Age 45 and Older was conducted as a telephone survey among registered voters age 45 or older in New Mexico, and included an oversample of registered voters age 45 and older who reside in a rural county.
Key findings include:
- Just over half (53%) of registered voters 45+ say they are currently a family caregiver or have been one in the past. In fact, the typical family caregiver is a woman, age 61, who is married and working, and caring for a family member age 80.
- Most current and former caregivers have taken their loved one shopping or shopped for them (92%); provided transportation to appointments (90%); and helped with household chores (88%) or meals (87%). Current and former caregivers also help manage medications (74%); are responsible for medical or nursing tasks (71%); help to manage finances (69%); and help with bathing or dressing (53%).
- Current and former caregivers have also made other sacrifices, such as using their own money to help provide care (60%); made changes to their homes for the loved one in their care (40%); or have moved into another home to accommodate the loved one in their care (18%).
- Adding to the physical tasks of current and former caregivers, two in three say they have felt stressed emotionally due to their caregiving responsibilities. Many have also felt stressed in trying to balance work and family (59%); found it difficult to exercise regularly (48%), found it difficult to get enough rest (56%), and take care of household responsibilities (47%). Some current and former caregivers have also experienced problems with their health (35%) and have found it difficult to find time to visit their doctor (27%).
- Over eight in ten registered voters 45+ say it is extremely or very important (84%) to be able to provide care so their adult loved ones can keep living independently; and another eight percent say this is somewhat important. In fact, only five percent say this is not very or not at all important.
- Over four in ten registered voters 45+ say it is extremely or very likely (44%) that they will need to provide care for an adult loved one in the future, and another eighteen percent say it is somewhat likely.
- At least half of registered voters 45+ say they would find the following support services very helpful: information about available resources for caregivers in your community (61%); respite care or getting breaks from caregiving responsibilities (57%); assistance with household chores (52%); or assistance with providing transportation (52%).
- At least eight in ten registered voters 45+ Mexico support these components of the CARE Act: requiring hospitals to explain and demonstrate medical and nursing tasks that family caregivers will need to perform after the patient returns home (95%); keeping a family caregiver informed of major decisions, like transferring or discharging the patient (90%); and requiring hospitals to record the name of a patient’s family caregiver upon admission (82%).
The interviews were conducted in English by Precision Opinion from September 26th to October 4th, 2014. The data in this report have been weighted by age, gender, and geographic county of residence to reflect the New Mexico population of registered voters age 45 and older. For more information contact Terri Guengerich at TGuengerich@aarp.org.
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