The Impact of Adult-Child Caregiving

006Adult-child caregivers is one of the most significant, yet most overlooked populations in our nation. Best calculation is that there are an estimated 15-24 million adult-child caregivers in the United States today. If family caregivers were paid, the value of their services would be more than $450 billion annually.

While two-thirds of the adult-child caregivers are daughters, one-third are sons. On average, adult-children spend approximately 20 hours a week in caregiving activities for aging parents. If a parent has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, caregiving typically doubles.

Since the majority of adult-child caregivers are employed, caregiving means the adult-child works a “regular” job, then spends the same time as if she/he held an additional part-time or possibly full-time job in caring for parents or in-laws. And that’s in addition to other responsibilities in the home and community. Without question, adult-child caregiving exacts a toll on the caregiver and family, jeopardizing health, relationships and economic well-being in the immediate as well as future.

More than one in every 20-25 working Americans is currently assisting in the care of an elderly family member.

Caregiver services are valued at more than $450 billion per year, and are increasing.

While the number of 65+ year olds will double from 2000 to 2030 (increasing from 35.1 million to 71.5 million), then almost double again between 2030 and 2050 (particularly among the oldest of the old — 85+), the number of potential family caregivers will decline.

The statistics, projections and understandings of the adult-child caregiver population are compelling and have far-reaching implications for the caregiver and family, businesses,corporate world, healthcare and social programs.  If you’d like to learn more about the impact of adult-child caregiving, click this link.  You can also view additional statistics from the Family Caregiver Alliance (