A study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP showed that nearly one third of the US population are caregivers, defined as providing unpaid care to an adult or a child with special needs. These caregivers spend an average of 20 hours a week providing unpaid care, a phenomenon Elinor Ginzler of the AARP called a “half time job.”
While the study included several different types of caregiving, a significant portion of those in the study was taking care of parents—36%. The average caregiver was female (66%), 48 years old, and 34% of caregivers were taking care of two or more people. 51% were caring for adults aged 75 or older.
One of the major points of the study was that caregiving can place significant stresses on adult caregivers. Many had left jobs, passed up promotions, and cut back on hours to fulfill their caregiving responsibilities. A significant number (53%) reported loneliness and isolation, cutting back on time with friends and family.
Although 66% of those caring for the elderly said it was easy to set up their care, a reverse mortgage can help increase this further. Using a reverse mortgage can help pay for health care and other caregiving responsibilities, keeping parents out of assisted living and nursing homes, while reducing the stress on caregivers.
Write to Reva Minkoff