In 2014, around 83 percent of caregivers in the U.S. stated their health was excellent, very good, or good. Approximately 34 percent of caregivers provide between one and eight hours of care per week, while 23 percent spend 41 hours or more providing care. Most caregivers live with their care recipient or within 20 minutes distance, and spend under 5,000 U.S. dollars a year providing care. The most common caregiving expenses include food and clothing, transportation, and medication and other medical costs.
Among those who work full or part-time jobs while caregiving, the responsibility of caregiving can prove an added burden. Almost half of such caregivers stated they had to go in late, leave early, or take time off due to their caregiving responsibilities, while 15 percent had to take a leave of absence and six percent had to give up work entirely. If a caregiver provides care to a spouse or family member, this circumstance can possibly strain the relationship between the caregiver and the recipient. For example, almost 40 percent of husbands who act as a caregiver to their spouse stated that their relationship had suffered as a result of caregiving. Similarly, just over 30 percent of daughters who act as a caregiver to a parent said their relationship with their parent had suffered as a result of their caregiving role.
Most care recipients require care simply due to old age, however others require care due to a more serious and specific issue, such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. As of 2016, in California alone, there were around 1.6 million Alzheimer and dementia caregivers. Caring for these individuals can be particularly stressful, with almost 60 percent of such caregivers reporting high or very high emotional stress in 2014.