SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of November's National Family Caregivers Month, Honor™ (www.joinhonor.com), the fast-growing tech-powered home care company, surveyed men and women ages 18 and older across the U.S. and found a surprising discrepancy in opinions and perspectives related to caring for aging loved ones.
The 2016 Honor Family Caregiving Survey revealed that age and experience have a strong impact on attitudes. In particular, a larger number of Americans within the consumer sampling who hadn't yet been exposed to the caregiving process or personally tasked with the related responsibilities viewed caring for an older loved one as a "burden." This same group also expressed far greater concern over the financial impact of providing care. Ironically, those who were already deep in the trenches of a caregiving role viewed the experience as a "gift," and were less concerned about cost implications, despite the potential toll on their career, financial security and other life responsibilities.
Family caregiver perspective:
- 21% believe caring for an aging loved one is a "gift"
- 6% believe it's a "burden"
- 8% believe caring for an aging loved one is a "gift"
- 14% believe it's a "burden"
Those who didn't see caregiving as a gift or burden accepted the role as merely "a part of life."
"Regardless of our current life stage and attitudes toward assuming a caregiver role, when that moment comes for us to provide long-term support to an aging parent or grandparent - many of us are simply unprepared," said Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Honor's Head of Care. "We asked men and women from all age groups and walks of life if they would be able to provide appropriate care if a loved one suddenly needed it, and nearly 57% said they could not. And, nearly 88% surveyed said it would be up to them -- alone or with a sibling -- to shoulder the responsibility. Collectively, these are sobering statistics given that our senior population will nearly double by the year 2030."
2016 Honor Family Caregiving Survey "Snapshot": Who Is Providing the Care?
40% of survey respondents serve, or have served, as a caregiver for a parent, grandparent or aging loved one. Among these caregivers:
- 10% are 18-29 years
- 25% are 30-44 years
- 31% are 45-59 years
- 34% are 60+ years
- 59% of family caregivers are women
- 41% of family caregivers are men
- 26% believe their career or professional life has suffered as a result of caring for a loved one
- 58% of these caregivers believe their loved one requires more care than they alone can provide
*Click here for survey graphics.
Among respondents who are not currently family caregivers, six out of 10 believe it's likely they will play this important role in the future. But only 43% of non-caregivers believe they would be prepared to provide the appropriate care if a loved one suddenly needed assistance. Seventy-five percent would not be able to provide more than 20 hours of care per week.
Added Ellis-Lamkins: "We learned a lot from this consumer study about attitudes toward paid and unpaid care. When asked what the biggest consideration was when choosing care for a loved one, concern for a loved one's happiness ranked the highest at 57% among experienced caregivers -- well over concerns about the expense of care, which ranked at 7.9%. Also, ensuring trust and safety with the caregiver ranked as the single biggest source of worry, among all concerned, when it comes to bringing a new caregiver into the home."
To help Americans become more informed about the caregiving process, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins offers these Three Essential Tips for Family Caregivers:
- Create a caregiving plan that involves the recipient and other family members. Ninety-one percent surveyed indicated that their loved one would prefer to stay in their own home, if possible. Volunteers and paid professionals alike should always be appropriately vetted with a background check and provided with feedback after each visit to ensure that their care style and protocols are in sync with family member expectations.
- Establish and maintain a relationship with your loved one's medical team and share regular notes and communication to help keep them informed about care and wellness routines that take place in the home.
- Remember that it is important to care for yourself too - prioritizing your own health will help you manage stress and, ultimately, be a more effective care provider.
For more tips and information about the 2016 Honor Family Caregiving Survey, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins is available for interviews.
*1,000 randomly selected adults participated in the Honor Family Caregiving Survey in October 2016.
Honor launched service in 2015. The company operates in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and Dallas-Fort Worth. Honor's model allows it to provide high-quality care while driving down costs for families, driving up wages and offering W2 employment. Honor has also partnered with the best and brightest industry advisors and organizations, including the American Cancer Society and National Parkinson Foundation. For more information, please visit www.JoinHonor.com.
Additional Resources to Explore in Connection with National Family Caregivers Month:
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