Family Caregivers Need Support Now

Posted on 07/05/22

Providing essential care for someone in their daily activities is the work that an estimated 578,000 caregivers provide all around Wisconsin. Family caregivers assist their parents, spouses, and other loved ones so they can live comfortably at home rather than in costly, taxpayer-funded nursing homes.

Family caregivers are incredibly important to our community; they help individuals with meals, bathing, dressing, chores, shopping, transportation, managing medication, scheduling appointments, etc. Without these caregivers, our loved ones would not have the ability sustain their wellbeing.

However, many family caregivers are underpaid and face significant financial strain as a result of the effort they expend into caregiving.

60% of family caregivers retain other full or part time jobs along with their caregiving duties. This creates an intense strain on these individuals, as caregiving requires an average of 18 hours per week spent caring for loved ones.

Not only does caregiving take time and energy, but it also creates a financial burden. Family caregivers spend, on average, 20% of their income on caregiving activities. This money comes directly out of pocket for them; they are not being paid or subsidized for their duties.

Although family caregivers face many challenges, there are often no other options for families. Nursing homes can be costly and out of price range, and there are not enough individual caregiver providers to hire for home assistance. As a result, family caregiving is an essential duty that many Wisconsinites are undertaking.

Next time you see a candidate for office, ask them this question:

Each year, Wisconsin’s unpaid family caregivers provide about 538 million hours of care to their parents, spouses, partners, and other adult loved ones. In addition, they spend an average of $7,000 per year on out-of-pocket costs related to caregiving. If elected, how do you plan to address the financial challenges experienced by family caregivers?

This story is provided by AARP Wisconsin. Visit the AARP Wisconsin page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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