Tag Archives: Eldercare

Unpaid eldercare in the United States

There are more than 43 million people age 65 or older in the United States in 2013. That number has grown by more than 40 percent in the last 20 years, and the U.S. Census Bureau projects that the population of older Americans will continue to grow rapidly. As the population of older Americans has grown, so too have concerns about providing care to people who need help because of a condition related to aging. On Wednesday, BLS published a news release on unpaid eldercare in the United States. Eldercare providers are defined as individuals who provide unpaid care to someone age 65 or older who needs help because of a condition related to aging. This care can be provided to household or nonhousehold members, as well as persons living in retirement homes or assisted care facilities. Eldercare can involve a range of care activities, such as assisting with grooming, preparing meals, and providing transportation. Eldercare also can involve providing companionship or being available to assist when help is needed, and thus it can be performed simultaneously with nearly any other activity. Sixteen percent of the U.S. population age 15 and over (39.6 million people) provided unpaid eldercare in 2011–2012. Nearly one-fourth of eldercare providers engaged in unpaid eldercare on a given day, spending an average of 3.2 hours providing this care. The feature The Editor’s Desk includes a graphic on the characteristics of eldercare providers.