The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released data from an American time use survey, and found that 16 percent of the population provides unpaid eldercare throughout the year.
Additionally, the data showed that 26 percent of the unpaid eldercare providers engage in those activities each day, devoting roughly 3.4 hours per day.
The survey categorized eldercare providers 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 non-household members, as well as persons living in retirement homes or assisted care facilities.
Survey data also revealed that of the 40.4 million eldercare providers, aged 15 and older, 58 percent were women.
In an age-group breakdown, those between the ages of 55 and 64 accounted for 24 percent; and those between the ages of 45 to 51, 21 percent; and those over 65, 18 percent.
Thirty-nine percent of eldercare providers cared for someone age 85 or older, while 13 percent provided care for someone age 65 to 69.
Compared with caregivers who were younger and older, eldercare providers ages 15 to 34 were more likely to care for a grandparent, and those ages 35 to 64 were more likely to care for a parent.
Fifteen percent of eldercare providers cared solely for someone with whom they lived, and 83 percent cared solely for someone with whom they did not live. Those who provided eldercare for someone in their household were more than three times as likely to provide eldercare on a given day than those who provided care for someone living in another household — 65 percent and 18 percent, respectively.
Almost one-half — 48 percent — of eldercare providers who were parents of children living at home provided care for their own parent.
These persons sometimes are described as members of the “sandwich generation,” because they are in between two generations that require care, officials said.
Eldercare providers who were parents were less likely to provide daily care than the overall population of eldercare providers —12 percent and 21 percent, respectively — but just as likely to provide care several times a week, 23 percent and 25 percent, respectively.