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2015 AARP National Caregiving Survey of Registered Voters Age 40 and Older

More than 42 million family caregivers each year provide unpaid care for aging parents, spouses, aunts, uncles, friends, or other loved ones so they can live independently at home, where they want to be (87%). These family caregivers assist with daily tasks—such as eating, dressing, bathing and transportation as well as medical/nursing tasks. The value of this unpaid care is about $450 billion dollars annually.    In addition, about 3.9 million family caregivers provide care to a child under 18 because of a medical, behavioral or other condition or disability.  The average family caregiver is a 49 year old female taking care of a 78 year old woman and provides 20 hours a week of assistance to their loved one.

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Key findings of this national survey include:

  • Across political parties, voters age 40 and older say Congress should improve resources for family caregivers who help seniors and people with disabilities to live independently. Further, these voters would be more favorable to members of Congress who want to do so.
  • Across the board, family caregivers face significant challenges as they care for their loved ones—from emotional stress to balancing work and family to financial responsibility. Still, despite these challenges, family caregivers say keeping their family member or other loved ones at home is a priority.
  • The majority of family caregivers age 40 and older (89%) who are registered to vote say access to services and resources would be important if their loved one needed help to remain living independently, and name priorities.

AARP commissioned a telephone survey of 1,200 registered voters nationwide, age 40 and older to learn about their experiences with family caregiving. This report highlights results from residents interviewed between February 13th  and February 19th , 2015. The data in this report has been weighted by age and gender to reflect the United States registered voter population age 40 and older. This survey included both cell phones and landlines.  For more information, contact Aisha Bonner at abonner@aarp.org.

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