Family support is critical to the care needed for older adults as they age, but often comes at substantial costs to those providing the care, to their families and to society. According to the “Caregiving in the U.S.” report, in 2009, there were roughly 42.1 million caregivers in the U.S., providing an estimated $450 billion worth of unpaid care to aging relatives and friends.
A popular misconception is that caregivers are paid medical professionals, providing full-time care to someone in need of daily help, when in reality, most caregivers are also working and managing their own families at the same time they are providing care for a loved one. For many, the caregiving role starts with simple things like scheduling a doctor’s visit or helping with daily errands, but gradually expands over time, until it becomes a major commitment in their lives.
Approximately 3 out of 4 boomer caregivers describe the task of providing care to an older adult as difficult and many feel they need more help or information, but don’t know where to turn for support. The new PSAs emphasize the resources that are available and conclude with the tagline, “Together, let’s help each other better care for ourselves and the ones we love.”