Most people who need care rely on family and friends to provide at least part of their assistance. Around 30 percent will also rely on paid providers to supplement their needs.
When you look at who is providing the care, it may come as no surprise to discover that women are the backbone of the support system. Women provide the majority of care for spouses, parents, friends, and neighbors.
The average caregiver is a 49 year old woman providing care for a mother who does not live with her. She is married and employed.
Women spend as much as 50 percent more time providing care than male caregivers.
Two out of three caregivers are women.
Women make up the majority of caregivers in our country, but they also have the most long term care needs. Women tend to live longer than men, outlive their spouses, and have less access to savings and pensions.
A study showed 48 percent of women age 75+ were living alone compared to 22 percent of men at the same age.
One in nine women aged 75+ needed assistance. One in five aged 85+ needed assistance.
Women are also working and contributing to household income in greater majorities, putting their finances more at risk when they step into caregiving roles.
Women are 2.5 times more likely to live in poverty and five times more likely to receive supplemental security income when they are in caregiving positions.
23 percent of non-working and 20 percent of working female caregivers are also providing financial assistance to the parents they are caring for.
Women don’t abandon their lives when faced with a caregiving situation. Instead, they are more likely to attempt to fit it into their already busy lives. They add on duties while increasing pressure, putting themselves more at risk too. Something eventually has to give.
33 percent of working women end up decreasing their work hours
29 percent pass on job promotions
22 percent take leave of absences
20 percent switch from full time to part time
16 percent quit their jobs
13 percent retire early
Yes, caregiving impacts home life. But it also impacts businesses in more ways than one.
Caregiving is costing businesses an estimated $3 billion per year.
Absenteeism among women caregivers cost businesses more than $270 million per year.
Because of the multifaceted role women play in caregiving, they also need a range of support services to remain healthy, financially stable, and provide the care they desire to give. Working together is the only way we’ll be able to succeed at all three.
What are your thoughts on women in caregiving roles?