Next Administration Urged To Help Caregivers for Elderly

The burden of caring for the elderly often falls on family members, but who helps the helpers? About 17.7 million people care for someone older than 65, according to a report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. “The nation’s family caregivers provide the lion’s share of long-term care for our older adult population,” the report states. “They are also central to older adults’ access to and receipt of health care and community-based social services. Yet the need to recognize and support caregivers is among the least appreciated challenges facing the aging U.S. population.”

We’re talking about people making a major commitment. The report states that caregivers devote about 235 hours a month helping elderly family members with three or more tasks a day. And they usually donate this time—the equivalent of two full-time jobs—for five years.

The report wants the next presidential administration to create a nation strategy for helping caregivers that includes economic assistance.