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A Public Health Priority – Registered caregivers

Asian Women smiling - registered caregiver

Registered caregivers – The health of caregivers is at risk.

Informal caregivers (family members or friends) are the backbone of long-term care provided in people’s homes. While some aspects of caregiving may be rewarding. In addition caregivers can also be at risk for negative health consequences. These may include stress, depression, difficulty maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Similarly staying up to date on recommended clinical preventive services.

Who are registered caregivers?

Registered Caregivers provide care to people who need some degree of ongoing assistance. They have need of it with everyday tasks on a regular or daily basis. The recipients of care can live either in residential or institutional settings. In addition it range from children to older adults. In addition these have chronic illnesses or disabling conditions.

Approximately 25% of U.S. adults 18 years of age. In addition older reported providing care or assistance to a person. With a long-term illness or disability in the past 30 days. Similarly according to 2009 data from CDC’s state-based Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.  This is termed “informal care” family or friends provide rather than registered caregivers.

What is the impact of providing care for an older adult?

Informal or registered caregiving has relation with:

  • High levels of depression and anxiety
  • Higher use of psychoactive medications
  • Worse self-reported physical health
  • Compromised immune function
  • High risk of early death

Over half (53%) of registered caregivers indicate that a decline in their health compromises their ability to provide care.

Furthermore, caregivers and their families often experience economic hardships. Therefore it is through lost wages and additional medical expenses. In 2009, more than one in four (27%) of caregivers of adults reported a moderate to high degree. Of financial hardship as a result of caregiving.

What are the positive aspects of registered caregivers?

For many people, providing care for a family member with a chronic illness or a disabling condition. In addition it can provide:

  • A sense of fulfillment
  • Establishment of social networks or friendship groups associated with caregiving
  • Feeling need and useful
  • Learning something about one’s self, others, and the meaning of life

More caregivers will be needed

As the number of older Americans increases. So will the number of caregivers to provide care. The number of people 65 years old and older is expected to double between 2000 and 2030. It is expected that there will be 71 million people aged 65 years old. And older when all baby boomers are at least 65 years old in 2030.

Currently, there are 7 potential family caregivers per adult. By 2030, there will be only 4 potential family caregivers per adult.