Ad Council and AARP: Caregiver Assistance

Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners

Background

Chances are, your life will be affected by caregiving at some point. Whether you are providing care for your friends and loved ones, or receiving care from the ones who love you, caregiving is part of the circle of life. Yet it is often an issue that isn't discussed, and when it is, it's with a rosy glow.

There are approximately 42.1 million people in the U.S. who are caregivers for their aging relatives and friends, spending hours upon hours every week providing an estimated $450 billion worth of care every year (AARP 2009 proprietary study). Caregivers are generally women aged 40-60 who provide care for an older adult, most often a parent or other relative in their 70s. They devote an average of 19 hours per week of care to their loved one. On top of their caregiving responsibilities, 55% have jobs (AARP proprietary study). Despite caregiving responsibilities equaling that of part time employment, caregivers don't self-identify as such. Instead, they see themselves as "just" daughters or friends helping their loved ones, while they often have their own kids to look after, health and finances to manage, and jobs and relationships to maintain. Needless to say, caregivers are pushed in many directions.