Employed Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care

A report of the AARP Public Policy Institute and the United Hospital Fund

Author/Editor: Susan C. Reinhard (AARP Public Policy Institute), Carol Levine (United Hospital Fund), and Sarah Samis (United Hospital Fund)


Read the related press release.

This report shows that employed family caregivers, despite their workplace obligations, perform many of the tasks that health care professionals do—a range of medical/nursing tasks including medication management, wound care, using meters and monitors, and more. While an earlier report from the authors documented that nearly half of family caregivers nationally performed these types of tasks—in addition to familiar personal care and household supports—the new report is the first to document that those who have the responsibilities of full- or part-time employment take on this high level of support in similar proportions.

The finding surprised the researchers, who expected a difference between the extent to which employed and not-employed caregivers perform medical/nursing tasks. They found that 45 percent of employed family caregivers were responsible for helping with medical/nursing tasks; the earlier study found that 46 percent of all caregivers in the survey performed such tasks.

The report also examines:

  • The characteristics of surveyed family caregivers: Tables compare data on employed  and not-employed caregivers.
  • The stress experienced by family caregivers: While 49 percent of family caregivers who were not employed reported feeling stressed between caregiving and other responsibilities, fully 61 percent of those who were employed reported such stress.
  • The impact of family caregiving on employment: One in five employed caregivers (19 percent) and one in ten not-employed caregivers (10 percent) reported negative impacts, including missed professional opportunities, financial losses, and time off from work.

This report summarizes new findings drawn from additional analysis of data based on a December 2011 national survey of 1,677 family caregivers. Earlier findings were published in the groundbreaking PPI/UHF report Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care.

Copyright: 2013
Published: 11.20.2013




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