By Troy Mills, President, Carallel

Today, millions of Americans are serving as unpaid caregivers to loved ones and that number is expected to grow in the coming years. When we think of a family caregiver, we might picture a middle aged woman caring for an elderly parent. But as our population ages and people are living longer, caregivers are becoming more diverse.

What is Caregiving?

Caregiving can encompass a wide variety of tasks. But because caregiving often involves caring for a family member, many people do not self-identify as caregivers. If you’re not sure if you’re a caregiver, ask yourself if you are helping a loved one with:

  1. Everyday tasks – grocery shopping, picking up medications, cooking meals, arranging     doctor’s appointments or transportation, paying bills
  2. Personal care – assisting with dressing, bathing and/or eating
  3. Skilled care – changing wound dressings, inserting feeding tubes or administering injections

A loved one may need caregiving support on a temporary, reoccurring or permanent basis depending on their condition.

Who are Today’s Caregivers?

Traditionally, women have been the primary caregivers in our society, but today we’re getting closer to an even split between male and female caregivers.  Surprisingly, statistics show that 10 million millennials are acting as caregivers. Some millennials and Generation X are also part of the sandwich generation who are raising their own children while also caring for their aging parents.  The majority of caregivers (60%) are working and taking on caregiving responsibilities as a second “job.”  Many of the 40% who are unemployed may have left jobs due to the demands of caregiving.

By Gender: 
60% Women
40% Men

By Age Group:

24% Millennials

Born: 1984-2000
23% Generation X

Born:  1969-1983
46% Baby Boomers

Born: 1944-1968
7% Matures

Born: 1943 or earlier
By Employment:
60% employed in past year
40% not employed

By Income:

< $29,999k

$30k - $49,999k

$50k - $99k

> $100k

Source:  AARP & National Alliance for Caregiving – Caregiving in the U.S. Report 2015

Who Does Caregiving Impact?

Caregiving will eventually touch everyone — it’s not a question of if, but when.  Understanding who today’s caregivers are, can help us identify better ways of supporting family, friends and co-workers through the challenges of caring for a loved one.

If you are looking for ways to support employees or clients who are also caregivers, contact Carallel to schedule a demo or to learn more about MyCareDesk, our comprehensive caregiver support solution.