Study of Caregivers Finds High Levels of Isolation and Sleep Deprivation

Survey of Hundreds of Current Caregivers by Carewell Identifies Huge Sacrifices Required from this Fast-Growing “Workforce”

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new study of the fast-growing community of family caregivers was released today by Carewell, a leading advocate for caregivers and online supplier of home health products. The report, The Unspoken Costs of Caregiving, investigates the hardships and sacrifices faced by the nation’s 53 million independent, unpaid family caregivers, and serves as an opportunity to better understand and address the needs of this population. It is based on a survey of almost 600 caregivers conducted in October 2020.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Caregiving weighs heavily on caregivers’ minds. Overall, 64% of respondents reported feeling depressed due to the stresses of caregiving, rising to 68% for caregivers aged 18-34 and 72% of women who care for parents.
  • Caregiving leaves little time for recreation. The majority of respondents (85%) reported cutting back on or giving up hobbies, activities, or other interests as a result of becoming a caregiver. About 70% of caregivers also report changes to relationships with loved ones and friends as a result of caregiving.
  • Caregivers put the health of their care recipient before their own. Over 40% of our respondents reported that when feeling ill, they avoid seeking care due to caregiving obligations.
  • No rest for the weary. While spending hours a week balancing careers, caregiving, and other responsibilities, 63% of respondents stated that caregiving interrupts their sleep, with nearly 29% reporting the interruption is nightly, and 24% reporting interruptions 2-3 times a week.
  • Caregiving is a 24-hour job, leaving no room for work-life balance. More than half of respondents reported that caregiving is their full-time job (54%). For those also working outside the home, 70% report missing work as a result of caregiving and nearly a quarter (22%) miss more than 20 workdays a year.
  • Caregiving might be a thankless job, but caregivers feel valued. Despite the difficulties of caregiving, 86% of respondents feel appreciated by their care recipient.

Carewell is on a mission to improve the caregiver experience, and has become an essential resource for this group, providing unparalleled personalized support, educational resources, and expert-vetted products. Through its extensive community of members, medical experts, and manufacturers, Carewell has developed a unique caregiving ecosystem that provides the company with invaluable feedback and enables them to better support caregivers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the number of novice family caregivers across the nation, as it spreads through nursing home facilities, forcing families to adapt to in-home care under unprecedented circumstances. At the start of the pandemic, new caregivers looked for support and education online, and Carewell welcomed over 40,000 new, unique customers and saw a 66% increase in orders.

“The coronavirus pandemic has forced aging adults and their families to reconsider assisted living facilities and instead offer safer, in-home care,” explains Bianca Padilla, Carewell CEO and co-founder. “Caregiving is an act of selflessness and patience, but it comes with immense responsibility and pressure—impacting caregivers’ health, finances, and relationships. As a result, our research shows that caregivers are consistently forced to choose between the welfare of their care recipient or their own well-being, oftentimes neglecting themselves. Our purpose at Carewell is to better equip caregivers to face these challenges without compromising the quality of their care.”

The Unspoken Costs of Caregiving survey was fielded by Carewell via Survey Monkey from October 14-23, 2020, among a national sample of 593 caregivers. Individual interviews were also conducted over the phone. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of 4%.

About Carewell
Carewell is a Charlotte-based, family-led e-commerce company on a mission to improve the lives of caregivers and their loved ones. Carewell’s story began in 2015, when its founders were among the 20% of Americans who act as informal caregivers. Unable to find the guidance and selection they needed in one place, they formed Carewell to be a source of support for independent caregivers seeking proactive service, compelling content, and expert-vetted products. For more insight, visit Carewell’s website.

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