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Nurs Econ. 1997 Sep-Oct;15(5):243-7.

Family caregiving: who provides the care, and at what cost?

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College of Health/Department of Nursing, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, USA.


Today, there are an estimated 1.6 million people over 65 years of age who require assistance with two or more daily activities. This number is projected to rise to 2.1 million by 2001, with fewer family caregivers expected to be available to provide this informal care. Seventy-two percent of unpaid family caregivers are women, the majority of whom are mid-life daughters or daughters in law. Uncompensated care to the frail elderly requires an average of 28 to 39.9 hours per week of custodial care. The financial impact on informal caregivers includes: 9% of family caregivers who leave the labor force to provide care, 29.4% who adjust their work schedules, and 18.1% who take time off without pay. The estimated annual value of uncompensated kin care in 1990 was $18 billion. Thirty-two percent of all family caregivers are categorized as poor or near-poor at incomes that are less than 125% of the federal poverty level.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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