Caring for an Adult

Almost 40 million people in the United States provided unpaid care for an adult in the previous 12 months, according to a 2015 study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP Public Policy Institute. Here are some of the challenges faced by caregivers and recipients, based on responses of the 1,248 caregivers surveyed.  

Duration of Care for Adults

Hours of Care Provided in an Average Week

Less than 1 hour: 13%

1 to 8 hours: 34%

9 to 20 hours: 22%

21 to 40 hours: 9%

41 or more hours: 23%

Length of Care Provided

Less than 6 months: 30%

6 months to 1 year: 20%

1 to 4 years: 26%

5 to 9 years: 12%

10 years or more: 12%

Conditions Facing Adult Care Recipients

Long-term physical condition: 59%

Short-term physical condition: 29%

Memory problem: 26%

Emotional or mental health problem: 21%

Behavioral issue: 7%

Developmental/intellectual disorder: 4%

Information Needs of Caregivers of Adults

Keeping recipients safe at home: 42%

Managing personal emotional/physical stress: 22%

Making end of life decision: 22%

Managing recipients’ challenging behaviors: 12%

Managing recipients’ incontinence problems: 11%

Finding non-English language materials: 5%

Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number.

Source: Caregiving in the U.S., 2015 report;

Created by Northwestern University’s Online Masters in Counseling program