Three-quarters of adults care for parents

July 29, 2011 at 9:38 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) -- Three-quarters of U.S. adults who work at least 15 hours per week care for an aging parent, most of whom are 75 or older, a Gallup poll indicates.

U.S. adults who self-identified as caregivers in Gallup Daily tracking surveys throughout 2010 were re-contacted, and 2,805 were interviewed for a Pfizer-ReACT/Gallup poll specifically about caregiving.

Most of the caregivers' time is spent on errands and general day-to-day tasks such as shopping, doing laundry and providing transportation. Caregivers spend an average of 13 days per month handling these types of tasks, the survey found.

Caregivers spend about six days per month performing personal tasks such as helping the person they are caring for eat, get dressed and go to the bathroom. In addition, caregivers spend about 13 hours per month on administrative-type tasks such as researching care services or disease-related needs, coordinating physician visits and managing financial matters.

On a typical day spent giving care, caregivers report devoting an average of 5 hours providing companionship or supervision.

Fifty-five percent of caregivers say they have been providing care for three years or more, the poll says.

Previous Gallup studies indicates working caregivers suffer emotionally and physically.

The poll, conducted Dec. 28, 2010, to Jan. 9, 2011, has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

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