If We Fall, the System Fails

Denise
lightning-801866_640According to our 2015 Annual Family Caregiver Survey:

  • 45% of respondents expect their caregiving experience to last at least another five years;

  • 79% of respondents have already been in a caregiving role for at least two years;

  • 66% of respondents say they do not adequately take care of their physical, emotional, dental and medical needs;

  • 61% of respondents have eight hours or less to themselves every week (46% have four hours or less);

  • 95% of respondents experience stress; 32% say they are very stressed;

  • 45% of respondents do not have any help from other family members;

  • 28% say that the hardest time during caregiving was when they were exhausted because they hadn't been able to take a break;

  • 69% of respondents do not have a trained back-up; 48% said they do not have anyone who could be a back-up while 11% just haven't had time to find or train one;

  • Managing the emotions (guilt, anger, grief) and coping with the loneliness and isolation are the most difficult parts of a caregiving experience;

  • The day-to-day grind is what's most stressful;

  • 61% of respondents provide 24/7 care.


Individuals who care for a family member or friend work hard, work a lot, work for years without frequent breaks and work every holiday. These individuals make up the largest segment of our health care system. We have about 1 million doctors in the U.S. According to the research release in June 2015 by National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, an estimated 43.5 million adults in the United States have provided unpaid care to an adult or a child in the prior 12 months.

Health care happens in the family.

And, yet, we have no national program to assist, help, support, train, relieve and honor these family caregivers.

The largest workforce in the health care system can't take a break because they don't have a back-up, must be available 24/7 and can't access quality care even though they regularly interact within the health care system.

If Lifetime channel made a movie about us, the script would call for us to go on strike.

But, we can't!

Our carees depend on us. And, we don't have anyone to step in if we step out.

So, let's do what we can.

We believe family caregiver stress is the epidemic in our communities. Because it’s an epidemic, we want the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track family caregiver stress and its source. We then can intervene to successfully and effectively improve the days of family caregivers.

You can help make it happen:

  • Sign our petition for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track family caregiver stress and its source.

  • Join me for our second chat on Twitter on Friday, October 30, at 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. CT, 11 a.m. PT). During our hour-long chat, we’ll talk about family caregiver stress and ask the CDC to track our stress. To join our chat, go to tweetchat.com, log into your Twitter account and follow our hashtag: #trackstress. You also can tag the CDC on your tweets during our chat; use @cdcgov and and @DrFriedenCDC, the Twitter account for Dr. Tom Frieden, Executive Director, CDC.

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