Study Finds One Third Of American Adults Serves As A Caregiver

"A new study says almost one out of three adults in the U.S. currently serves as a caregiver," NPR reports. "The time and energy they put into caregiving becomes like an unpaid job. On average, they spend about 19 hours a week providing care, doing everything from bathing and dressing an elderly parent or loved one to balancing a checkbook or doing household chores."

The survey was sponsored by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, with funding from the MetLife Foundation. Many results "are similar to those from earlier versions in 2004 and 1999. Two-thirds of caregivers are women. The average age is about 48. Almost all -- 86 percent -- care for a relative. Most often, 36 percent of the time, it's for a parent. On average, caregivers have been providing care for 4.6 years, and three in ten report doing so for five years or more" (Shapiro, 12/8).

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