With the notable population growth in the senior demographic, it’s no surprise that the number of adult caregivers attending to loved ones has grown significantly. But according to a recent post on Seniorhousingnews.com, the number has vastly increased – by 40% just in the past two years. Citing a Pew research study conducted in 2010 that reported 30% of adults were caregivers, and then in 2012, about four in ten (39%) were caring for an adult or child with health concerns.
The survey of 3,014 adults living in the U.S. also noted that while those caregivers extend over most demographic population segments, adults in the age range of 30 to 64 make up a large proportion of these caregivers. The majority of the adult caregivers in that age group are still actively working, adding to their overall life responsibilities, commitments, and stress.
The 30-64 age group studied was also found to be well informed via researching online health-related information and resources specific to issues affecting the loved ones in their care. Fifty-nine percent of the study’s participants with Internet access reported that exploring these online resources and medical information assisted them in providing the care and support needed for the person for whom they were caring.
This group of caregivers sought to educate themselves on the issue of caregiver stress, with 52 percent reporting that the online resources they found had been instrumental in helping them understand and subsequently cope better with the stressors involved in caregiving. Because approximately 75 percent of U.S. adults 65 and older have at least one chronic health condition, caregivers have significant drive to learn as much as possible about the specific challenges faced by their loved ones.
Since the 2012 study, the number of adult caregivers has risen 9 percent; the researchers expect that more people will be moving into a caregiver role. As the survey’s authors explain, “As the U.S. population ages and medical advances save and extend more lives, caregiving is likely to become a more common role than it has ever been before.”